3 Questions To Mark Harrop, Founder and Managing Director of WhichPLM

By Celia

Mark Harrop has been interviewed by Celia Newhouse, Marketing Director Consumer Goods & Retail at Dassault Systèmes

Mark Harrop, Founder and Managing Director of WhichPLM

Mark HARROP, Founder and Managing Director of WhichPLM

@WhichPLM

@markplm 

 

 

In the past few months WhichPLM released 2 reports that are absolutely must reads if you are in the business of fashion and technology. The first one is the Annual Review 2014 published in November and if you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet, here it is (click here). The second one is the first Supplier Evaluation of 3DEXPERIENCE Company Dassault Systèmes. What is special about this evaluation is that it doesn’t just look at the technical aspect of the vendor’s technology but studies and assesses areas like R&D roadmap, executive vision and customer satisfaction (yes, they actually called 3DS customers to ask how happy they were!).

I recently talked to Mark Harrop on the phone and asked him 3 questions that I thought I would share with you:

CN: In the 1990’s and years 2000, many fashion brands invested in PLM  and PDM technologies.  Where are these companies standing today and where should they invest tomorrow?

MH:Although some PLM vendors do work extremely hard to build a smooth and robust upgrade path today, the way that PDM/PLM solutions were deployed in the 1990’s and earlier part of the millennium – notably the “toolbox” method – led to a situation where most PLM solutions were tailored to each customer’s needs so extensively that they might as well have been entirely bespoke. Because of this, expectations from the consumer space (the move from Windows 7 to 8, or OSX 10.8 to 10.9) cannot be applied to legacy PDM/PLM implementations, since the numbered version paradigm has in some cases been abandoned.

New PLM customers drawn by the touted reductions in implementation time, the comparatively low cost of ownership, and the potentially rapid “ROI” return on investment – for these customers and others across the market – PLM “OOTB” proven best-practice methodologies has now become essential to the smooth running of any business that depends upon product innovation to meet changing consumer needs.

CN: Do you think that going digital and investing more in technology is essential for apparel companies if they want to remain competitive and why?

MH: Today, I believe that PLM has crossed the chasm, and is beginning to ascend the slope to where we might see peak adoption rates on a global

basis. In previous years we have occasionally referred to PLM as being functionally incomplete, or at least lacking in some of what we consider to

be the essential processes and capabilities. In 2014 customers of PLM can now shop for PLM with confidence, safe in the knowledge that a set of core competencies could be assumed.  PLM today is in the most part considered to be a complete solution, capable of delivering against its ROI promises, and already in the hands of both early adopters and the more forward-thinking members of the broader community. And I expect that things will continue to progress even faster with the growth and integration of E-PLM (Extended-PLM) solutions and the use of PLM as an enterprise backbone for extended integration and data consolidation that has created a situation whereby PLM is rightly considered a true enterprise solution, like ERP – something that is evidenced by the significant market growth seen in recent years.

CN: There is a new generation of users out there that is more technology savvy than the previous one.  Isn’t this a real opportunity for apparel companies to leverage this new generation?

MH: The new generation entering the retail, brands and manufacturing market place has little or no reservations of using “smart” technologies the likes of PLM-E-PLM, in fact if anything they expect to see and use smart technologies in their daily lives. Very pleased to say gone are the days were we had to hold people’s hands whilst operating a mouse for the first time! I’m so certain of this transition that I would even say that people will move from business to business to work on smarter technologies than stay working as “fire fighters” in companies that can’t keep pace with the challenges of operating in an ever faster retail world.


I encourage you to make whichPLM.com a favorite in your browser as well as Consumer Goods & Retail !

Celia NEWHOUSE, Marketing Director, Consumer Goods & Retail Dassault SystèmesCelia NEWHOUSE, Marketing Director, Consumer Goods & Retail Dassault Systèmes

@Celia_Newhouse  

 

 

 

Discover My Collection for Fashion, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides brands and retailers with a new approach to collaborative innovation and helps them design the products consumers love, while improving global efficiencies and speed to market by up to 50%. My Unified Development and Sourcing,the integrated fashion PLM part of this solution, helps fashion brands and retailers developing their collections on time, at the right price and with the desired quality.

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The Market Has Changed, So Has The Technology Supporting Your Business.

By Celia

In the current world of fashion, companies are rallying to become omni-channel (converged digital/physical new versions of themselves), and new opportunities to grow business, to collaborate, and to innovate have surfaced. The global consumer market has developed an insatiable appetite that is fresh and aligned with individual needs. While product customization requires significant changes in a company’s internal processes, fashion brands and retailers face a huge increase in the number of products and categories they carry as these represent new sources of revenues. They also carry more product variants as they adapt to new markets specifications, like sizes, styles and colors. This means they need a robust collaboration platform where product design and development teams can work together and in parallel in functional areas and on several seasonal lines at a time across several timezones. This also means huge gains in reuse and searching for information and supply chain agility.

PLM is no longer enough to deal with this complexity and businesses need to take the right technology approach while maximizing the value of their investment.  The IDC Maturity model white paper assesses the current state of the company organization and defines a road map that maximizes the value of investments across the five maturity stages of PLM/PIP transformation.

It’s an easy, step-by-step model to do your own assessment. Give it a try!

Fashion PLM, IDC Retail Insights

PLM Implementation Partner

By Wendy

You’ve selected the best solution, but do you have the right implementation partner?

With an ever increasing competitive market, companies in any industry are relying more and more upon their ability to innovate their product or service in order to create a revolutionary and incredible experience for consumers. The types of products we strive to create are those that actually enhance or sometimes change lives. Also understanding that it’s not always coming up with something new, but quite often producing what we already do, better. To do this requires a symbiotic environment that infuses technology, collaboration, and data with human preferences, needs and desires. Companies recognize the need to transform their business in order to evolve and remain profitable.

With a realm of potential solutions available, it’s not only about selecting the right enterprise system but integrating and deploying it successfully. Successful implementation and adoption is critical to achieving game-changing status for any company. While innovating business minds are anxious to make necessary changes, they are also reluctant to budget or spend the time to do it properly.

The Cost of Bad Implementation

Many are skeptical that they need help and believe they can shop for a ‘better price’ when it comes to implementation. With the ever-increasing complexity of an enterprise solution, it’s common to overlook essential business processes and the need for platform integrations which can ultimately create a delay in deployment.

Finding the right partner with the expertise, experience and skill set is very important to avoid implementation failure and deliver expected benefits. In your search, consider some of these tips to finding the right partner:

  1. Include implementation services into your overall solution budget. PLM deployment failure often occurs at the very beginning of the initiative. A good understanding of the implementation services costs required will help you to deliver the full PLM technology roadmap.
  2. Ask for certification. Look for partners, consultants and system integrators with a proven track record implementing the specific technology your solution is based upon through the use of industry best practices and methodologies.
  3. Get requirements documented at the beginning. Qualified service providers will help align your organization’s strategy and business processes with a properly defined PLM implementation roadmap.
  4. Look for proof of project management methodologies that utilize a consistent and defined approach for project planning, execution and management.

A strong competitive advantage relies on a few simple things – providing consumers with the products they want, when and how they want them, and at the price they are willing to pay. The challenge is enabling your organization to work effectively to create products that meet consumer demand and beat your competition to market. To properly deploy a PLM solution requires a team of experts such as Dassault Systèmes Industry Services that can help ensure the technology meets your business and timeline objectives.

Have you budgeted for your next solution implementation? Can your solution services provider help you identify the highest value potentials for business transformation and provide comprehensive recommendations?



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