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 this individualization.  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.

Learn more about Fashion Collection for SMB.

Celia NEWHOUSE is a member of the Consumer Goods Industry team.

 

3DEXPERIENCE Platform R2014x now available for everyone

By Aurelien

Connecting the dots

If you remember back to July, we introduced the R2014 release coming with its groundbreaking user interface “IF WE Compass”, which set a milestone in the way our customers would pilot their business. Here is an overview in case you missed it:

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Back then however, we wanted to make sure the Platform was thoroughly tested and validated, so we limited availability of this release to a shorter list of customers, as part of what we called the “Lighthouse Program”. Half a year later, and thanks to the invaluable feedback from our “Lighthouse” customers, we’re now ready to make the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform available to everyone. On-premise or on-the-cloud. You choose. And when we mean available to everyone, we do mean everyone :-)

Indeed, one of the feedback I’m sometimes hearing on social media or in real life is that the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform would be something for large companies only. The large manufacturers, the big OEMs. If you think so, I’d like you to take a look at the following testimonies from two of our “Lighthouse” customers (if you don’t think so, you can watch them too, they’re great testimonies :D ).

The first one I’d like to introduce is designer Jens Paulus. From Barcelona, Spain, Jens runs a small design studio with partners scattered all over Europe. Hear what Jens had to say:

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Pretty self-explanatory, right? The second example is BHR, an France-based SMB building lightweight helicopters. They’ve been flying the cloud -so to speak!- for the past four months on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform:

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With the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform on the cloud, small businesses like Jens Paulus or BHR can benefit today from the same advanced software as larger companies. Because they don’t have to worry about the burden of IT overhead, and because they can select exactly the Apps then need, right from the “IF WE Compass” user interface.

Another question I’ve been hearing at times relates to the procedure for accessing the Platform and provisioning the Apps. When Jens Paulus or the BHR guys say that entering 3DEXPERIENCE on the cloud was the matter of just a few clicks and minutes, they literally mean it. All it takes is just 6 steps to get started and access the most advanced yet scalable software in the industry:

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What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you’d like to see the full portfolio of processes this R2014x release has to offer, click here.

Creating the Future of Mobility

By Neno

Recently, German Handelsblatt published an interesting photo gallery on the Future of Mobility as it’s shown by automotive innovators on this year’s L.A. Auto Show.

I found this an amazing perspective, and a pity it seems still somewhat far off from today’s real life vehicle innovation on the glossy stages of the motor show. Now we know innovation cycles are getting rapidly shorter; the future is accelerating and those mobility dreams of tomorrow might be already parking in front of our doors.

The innovation forefront of our vehicle manufacturers is creating fascinating designs of mobility solutions that are integrated into their urban, architectural and energy systems in surprisingly new ways:

  • Bio engineering and new intelligent materials will make our vehicles more personal and relevant for us. At the same time, we will have safe and seamless mobility experiences.
  • Our future mobility solutions will be modular and integrated with smart grids. This is how they will become lean and sustainable – in their production, in use and when they are withdrawn from service.
  • Wheel-less concepts might even take us off-road Kangaroo-like or swarm under ground like river fish. Can this go as far as for our roads to become playgrounds then?

The high performance, multifunctional and configurable vehicles so many people can afford today – are the result of at least 50 years of engineering of systems and processes.

  • For a vehicle to perform according to requirements, many thousands of variables and relationships between electrical, mechanical and software components need to be designed, tested and validated for faultless operation.
  • For a vehicle to get from the design office to the dealers showroom at the right time at right cost and right quality – cash flow management and production processes including supply chain must be excellent.

Obviously – to minimize cost, time and errors – most of these creative, procedural and administrative activities are being carried out virtually today. The boundaries today are the “vehicle” or “production plant” systems. These systems can be managed and their physical, logical and human interfaces to the external world are defined. It is common practice today to virtually validate the kinematic behavior of an opening car door, the mechatronic behavior of an electric window closing and the procedural behavior of an assembly line design.

When we think about new mobility experiences, their boundaries are being opened; physical interfaces will be arbitrary, human interaction unprecedented. It seems that the creators of these new experiences will have to be designers, architects and strategists with a “magic” imagination to create and communicate possible scenarios and behaviors. More than likely, they will use software tools to immersively navigate mobility concepts that don’t yet exist. Intelligent virtual universes will help them dynamically explore ideas in precise physical and logical conditions. Similar to how we can simulate how a cat sees our urban reality, the creators of tomorrow’s mobility solutions will be able to take any perspective they want to ensure we will like and value their invention. I can hardly wait for this new era of mobility experiences  :-)

Go innovators, go!!  :D


Neno HorvatNeno HORVAT is a member of the Transportation&Mobility Industry team.



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