Why do Fashion brands and Retailers have to adopt an out of the box PLM solution?

By Celia

Fast fashion, right fashion, on-time fashion, think global, act local, these are not just buzz words, they are real challenges big and not so big fashion brands must meet to satisfy consumers. The fashion landscape has changed because consumer buying habits have undergone a tremendous swing from the 1980s when clients used to shop at departments stores all stocked with the same product offering. These temples of fashion, which enjoyed a comfortable 10% share of the retail market at the time, have since lost their shine (attaining only a 2.6% share in 2011) in favor of smaller, more intimate specialty channels that cater to the specific tastes of the local consumer.

So what happened?

Fashion Collection for SMBPeople are tired of the global, impersonal model and want to be taken for who they are individuals. The popularity of mobile technology and social networks confirm thisindividualization.  So, if brands want to reach these new consumers, they must speak their language so to speak, get closer to them, and cater to their local cultures, their likes, and their “individual-ness”. In an article published this month on whichPLM the author mentions another trend in which consumers long for a return to the friendly and available local shopkeeper of yesterday. The challenge is therefore twofold: on one hand brands can no longer exploit one channel with a uniform offering and hope to satisfy a global population that has become ever so ”individual” and on the other, they need to take into account a consumer’s desire for a more personal and intimate shopping experience. SH Lee, chairman of Tesco’s Korean Home, declared the “age of imperialism” over and urged retailers to tailor their offer to local cultures. And bingo! Focusing its efforts on the Korean consumer helped propel his company from 12th to 2nd largest retailer in Korea.

Keeping a profitable balance, however, between producing en masse but with a local twist is not easy. Not only do brands have to manage local differences in their product offerings, they have to turn out new collections fast to satisfy consumers’ desire for renewal. Success depends on whether brands and retailers can stay in touch with consumers’ changing needs and interests. PLM technologies can give brands better visibility when managing consumer feedback as well as assortments, designs, suppliers, manufacturing, and merchandising. As a matter of fact, industry experts predict fashion brands will invest billions in technology. IDC foresees that as product assortment refresh cycles quicken, 25% of mid-sized retailers will initiate new PLM or sourcing projects in 2014. And according to Just-style.com, the PLM market, “could grow up to 40% annually by 2014” boosted by medium-sized apparel firms that are planning to implement this technology.

Big vs. not so big

Fashion Collection for SMBAs speed to market and evolution in consumer tastes accelerate, apparel companies will need the power of PLM technology to  survive. But are all PLMs equal? Can large brands and not so large or niche players use the same PLM? When faced with the  question “to PLM or not to PLM”, how does one choose? When it comes to investing in PLM technology, big and not so big  brands pay attention to different things. 5 years ago a Tech-Clarity study had already pointed out that SMBs have their own wish  list for PLM that includes ease of use, rapid implementation, pre-defined templates, built-in best practices and a solution that  evolves as they grow. Yet today, PLM can still scare some SMBs away because they think it is too complex or too expensive to  implement. They do not have the same resources the big players have. But if the PLM in question is powerful yet packaged as an out-of-the-box pre-configured solution, it levels the playing field by reducing investment and cost of ownership for an SMB whose limited cash flow is not uselessly invested in functionalities that are too broad for its needs. Fashion Collection for SMB is for those not-so-big fashion companies that want to have the power of a PLM solution but scaled to their requirements. This out-of-the-box solution is also easy to learn and implement a critical factor for user adoption.

The numbers speak for themselves

Brands that have adopted the 3DS solutions have produced some pretty impressive results: 200% increase in technical design productivity for a European outdoor brand that is able to review and approve 5 times more samples in the same amount of time or a medium size ready-to-wear apparel company that experienced threefold growth in product breadth and overall product lines. So if you are an SMB looking to grow your business and strengthen your brand, Fashion Collection for SMB is your door to PLM.

Blog post courtesy of Dora LAINE

Learn more about Fashion Collection for SMB.

 

Achieve Rapid and Dramatic ROI from Innovative Legacy Data Discovery and Parts Reuse

By Karin

Hi! I’m Karin from EXALEAD. This post is the first installment of a three-part series about product parts management that we call “Reveal, Reuse, Reduce”. Without further ado, let’s start by “Revealing Existing Parts“! :-)

Instead of incurring monetary, quality, and capacity expenses associated with creating new parts, you can leverage intelligent search technology to revitalize product development by maximizing design reuse. A completely integrated search experience, adding similarity, metadata, and semantic-linked documents and related information to shape-search capabilities, will help you quickly access in-context product design information throughout your enterprise. In this series we’ll explore why and how companies can reveal, reuse, and reduce existing parts to save time and money.

Managing the Complexity of Doing Business

Business innovation and technology advancements are making R&D departments more sophisticated and global, with teams collaborating around the world. This leads to more complex product engineering and with this complexity comes varied information systems, resulting in more product data that needs to be managed.

Some of the largest volumes of data are related to product parts. From CAD files and drawings to sourcing information and inventory reports, diverse data is commonly located throughout the enterprise. Companies that are equipped to make rapid, informed decisions about whether a part needed for a product already exists can then determine whether:

  1. based on its associated information, it can be reused, or
  2. it needs to be modified, or
  3. a new part needs to be created or purchased.

But in order to make this decision, designers and engineers first must determine whether the part exists, a potentially daunting and time-consuming task.

Simulate savings your company could get with Parts Reuse!

The Challenges of Locating Part Information

Extracting the potential value hidden within this mountain of product data requires an efficient and cost-effective means for finding existing design assets to facilitate future product development through design reuse. The challenge lies in locating a single part in a legacy data trove that may contain more than a million files.

Many technologies, ranging from Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) to 2D/3D database search systems, allow queries of legacy data based on the shape of a part’s geometry—known as shape search. These search systems typically do not communicate between each other, thus requiring clumsy searching of multiple sources.
Furthermore, today’s manufacturing organizations require more part information than shape in order to support prudent, informed decisions that both maximize design reuse and streamline downstream processes.

The Limitations of Shape-Only Search

Search applications based solely on shape have significant shortcomings, which limit their ability to meet the search needs of today’s manufacturing enterprises. Shape search packages typically support geometry searches from within the specific CAD, PLM, or software application, and fail to tap into an organization’s extended data trove of product information.

Shape-searching by sketching the part in a CAD system can be imprecise and wastes time. Making a sketch accurate enough to identify similar parts often takes almost as much time as designing a new part. This defeats the time-saving advantage of shape searching. And users without a CAD license are unable to access the system.

Part geometries can be extremely complex with sophisticated algorithms that make for an unwieldy amount of shape information to search. Shape-only search typically processes all of this geometric information mathematically in order to find a similar part. If the shape signature/outline is defined from the beginning as being less exact, the simpler format and size of the data will make the search faster. The advantage is that more similar parts will be found, at which time the decision can be rapidly narrowed down. And the discovery of a larger selection of existing possibilities can lead to further creativity and innovation.

Searching on shape alone is analogous to performing a Web search using a single word on only part of the Internet. Because of the narrow set of programs searched, the results will be incomplete and may not necessarily meet the need or satisfy other important usability criteria.

Most importantly, software applications that search only on shape are limited in scope, packaged for use solely by designers and engineers, and cannot support the search needs of other personnel and/or departments that require ready access to this vital information.

Informed Decisions Demand an Integrated Search Experience

What’s really needed is a tool that finds and gathers all existing part-related information—adding similarity, metadata, and semantic-linked documents and related information to shape-search capabilities—through an integrated search experience that mirrors the manner in which popular Internet search engines and user-friendly ecommerce applications operate.

Revealing Information with EXALEAD OnePart

The EXALEAD OnePart search solution addresses the limitations of other available parts search technologies by extending search capabilities to include multiple types and sources of information—including 2D, 3D, and non-geometric forms of data—and by refining the search experience to make part searches fast and easy.

Locating a part by its geometric shape is only one step in the process of gathering the information required to determine whether a part is usable or not. OnePart ushers in a new part search paradigm by combining standard search capabilities based on the 3D shape of a part, with natural language text, 2D drawings, existing part metadata, component metadata, normalized metadata, calculated metadata, and semantically linked documents and information. This experience provides you with the deepest penetration into your enterprise-wide legacy data, so you can uncover the potential treasure hidden within it.

In Part 2, “Reuse“, we’ll explore the cost of creating new parts, the value of reusing existing parts, and who can benefit.

Till then, check out our personalized simulation interactive simulation app to see how much your company could save with parts reuse!

or watch the video below to see EXALEAD OnePart in action:

YouTube Preview Image

Stay tuned and talk to you soon! :-)

 

What the 4th Industrial Revolution is all about

By Diana

Hannover Fair 2014

I recently read a blog article written by Alex Enderle (@Alex_Enderle) about the 4th Industrial Revolution and how her company (BOSCH) considered that the real revolution was the business model and not the concept of connected industry.

When we have been setting up our positioning regarding the 4th Industrial Revolution a few months ago it was clear to us from the beginning that the “Industrie 4.0″ (in German) highlighted a part of the 4th Industrial Revolution but that other key aspects needed to be covered as well.

The introduction of smart machines to create a smart and connected production and potentially enable more flexibility and, therefore, customization is definitely the future of the industry. However, this needs to be combined with 2 other critical aspects, which are the Socialization and Servitization of the industry.

In fact, the 4th Industrial Revolution is not only based on technological progress, it is highly inspired by trends that are now part of our day to day lives. Yet, in the 21st century people want to communicate live anywhere and anytime with their peers and even with brands. Confronted with an endless flood of information and a need to get things done quickly, people no longer buy a product for its design or cost but more and more for the services it provides.

The two best-selling smartphones would not be as successful without strong operating systems like Android and iOS.

The former low cost airline company Easyjet would not have managed to succeed in the “business trip” market without a strong service offering

Connected machines and factories are tools, just like smart phones. What really matters is how we use them.

This is the reason why we consider that communication and collaboration combined with a strong flexibility and service offering are key aspects of the 4th Industrial Revolution:

Share new ideas and speed up existing projects, create the best customer experience with customized machines and services, finally guarantee more profit for their company.

The 4th Industrial Revolution is about Social, Smart, Flexible production, with High Value-Added Services. We can help you lead the way!

If you found this article interesting we would be pleased to meet and discuss with you at our booth at the Hannover Messe from April 7-11, 2014. Let’s meet at the Digital Factory Hall 7, Booth D 28.

Don’t worry about the entrance fee, it’s on us! Here is your free ticket to Hannover Fair 2014. See you there!  :D (below are a few pictures from last year)



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.