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Collaboration is the cornerstone of any product lifecycle management (PLM) application in the fashion industry. It ensures that the products retain competitive edge by leveraging the best utilization of human capital across the organizations. Be it vendor collaboration or the idea of developing a collaborative culture among fashion and the technical designers, the new generation of workers are familiar with these concepts anyways due to ubiquitous social collaboration culture in the cyber space.

We know that PLM is more than just tools to execute transactions; in fact, it is a full delivery of tools and processes that defines the culture that guides the corporate brand. The future is in platforms where data is shared instead of exchanged between systems. Combined with embedded search technology that combines information from other platforms and environments, the application platform should provide each user with the information needed at that time.

Taking the simplistic view of the PLM evolution itself, most implementation at present are more internally focused and fairly effective in executing the core processes involving fashion designers, tech designers, costing aspects, BOM creation etc. However, PLM is more than just a set of tools to execute transactions. Its strategic value extends beyond full delivery of tools and processes that define the culture that guides the corporate brand.

PLM can help enable fast fashion by incorporating collaborative processes to shorten the timeline to bring the right product to market in order to meet the fast moving trends. More evolved PLM discipline in future is expected to be highly collaborative in nature for maximizing the changes of product success by leveraging proactive collaboration with internal teams, vendors, B2B customers and finally stretching to the end consumers.

The evolution of collaborative processes is implemented through a series of stages as companies change from a series of sequential processes to an environment where data is shared across the various functions of the company and its supply chain. By sharing information, the timeline to bring the optimal product to market is shortened.

Stages to the collaborative process include:

  • Internal collaboration – Collaboration among design, merchandising, sourcing, sales & marketing, and logistics functions.
  • Vendor collaboration – extension of communication beyond traditional transaction processing for purchase order, production order, and shipment transactions to include the vendor as an integrated partner in the company’s processes.
  • B2B customer collaboration – extension of communication to gain input from customers for what products are wanted and to provide focus/amendments to the planed line.
  • End consumer collaboration – Combining traditional measures of what products sold, when they are sold and at what price, together with the social measure of where trends are evolving.
Emerging Collaboration Paradigm For PLM

In addition, PLM applications should also absorb feedback on products’ design and their ratings on social media websites so that organizations can max out the benefits of external collaboration. This ensures that the best products are developed from the get go, whilst confirming higher customer satisfaction and improving bottom line profits.

Going a step further, PLM applications should incorporate the complete business cycle that encompasses customer feedback received on social media websites, in addition to easy analysis of points of sales for designers who can modify their designs accordingly and make them available for end users after the least number of clicks and reduced production cycles.

EdgeAX PLM supports the collaboration in many respects. Developed as a business vertical solution for the fashion industry, EdgeAX PLM rationalizes the need for an end-to-end PLM solution in MS Dynamics AX 2012 so that business users are provided with an integrated and collaborative PLM experience that is process driven, seamless and leads to success stories in the product design and development process.

One of the key benefits of using EdgeAX PLM as a one-stop PLM solution is that it eliminates overheads and provides exciting features across the MS Dynamics AX 2012 rich client (product data & lifecycle management), enterprise portal (vendor portal and PLM application) and designer portal (design collaboration and peer analysis) as part of an integration where each piece works to augment and complement the whole.

Truly amazing and inspiring, EdgeAX PLM is the way of the future and the answer to most evolving PLM needs. An exciting world of ideas and inspiration is just a mouse click away.

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