Thanks for the introduction Dora, and greetings from Boston everyone.
I have spent the past year as Global Marketing Manager of our solution for Apparel and Retail, Teamcenter for Softlines, Hardlines, & Footwear, and the previous five as an industry analyst covering the PLM market in the retail and consumer goods space. One consistency I have seen despite the challenging, up-and-down economy that exists, is retailers continue to show great interest in PLM.
Why? Brand name and private label manufacturers and retailers need to be more efficient with new product development and launch (NPDL) due to rapid time to market requirements, declining prices/eroding margins, and changing consumer demand. When a recession hits, manufacturers in fast moving markets like apparel and retail don’t necessarily cut back across the board on technology; solutions like PLM that enable effective management of portfolios of products, better planning & collaboration across the value chain, and improved product costing remain in demand.
The development process in the world of retail is complex and demanding with trends changing rapidly across seasons, and the need for rapid sourcing, lab dips, sampling, and performance testing; not to mention the need for designers, merchandise planners, marketing, product/brand management, and vendors to communicate quickly and efficiently. This communication is only possible through a unified PLM platform and single data model.
Given these challenges, what are some of the related hot topics retailers care most about now when it comes to PLM? I think primarily decision support, value chain collaboration & sourcing, analytics, and costing; some of the emerging areas of focus include customer needs management, social networking, and green design (for product and store).
These topics and other industry trends and news will be discussed in this blog. I look forward to the conversation!