WhichPLM as a business has always had dual goals. Our aim since we launched in 2008 has been to provide educated, empowered consumers with the tools they need to make sense of a crowded market and answer the eponymous question: which PLM? But we equally recognise our role in actually educating and empowering those consumers in the first place.
A lot of the work we’ve undertaken since our rebranding in 2012 has been focused on addressing that balance – producing content that provides readers with a grounding in the fundamental principles required to understand, manage, and monitor the PLM research, shortlisting and selection process.
By its very nature, though, that work has been indirect. With a regular readership of more than 30,000, we must always talk broadly and generally, using features, interviews, blogs and opinion pieces to serve our readers.
This isn’t something that’s going to change, but this year we recognised some of the limitations of the indirect approach when it comes to answering the burning questions that plague retailers and brands:
What exactly is PLM? What return can I expect on my investment? How should I prepare my master data? How can I increase revenues and improve efficiency?
And so, at the beginning of the next calendar year, our latest initiative will launch with a singular focus: direct empowerment through education.
Meet WhichPLM Academy, the newest member of the WhichPLM family, built upon the same ethics and expertise as everything else we do, with the sole aim of helping apparel, footwear and textiles businesses to truly understand PLM and derive maximum benefit from their investments.
We’re still hard at work on putting the finishing touches to WhichPLM Academy before we part the curtains, because we understand that education is not something to be taken lightly. The WhichPLM team has spoken to more retailers, brands and manufacturers than we care to count who, almost ten years into our industry’s development, find the market bewildering – so we believe firmly in meeting their needs from our first lesson.
Similarly, PLM suppliers today select their expert resources from a pool of talent that is growing too slowly to serve demand. So we’re also seeking to grow the next generation of PLM professionals, imbuing them with an appreciation for the industry’s history and an informed passion for its future.
This is not to do a disservice to either customers or suppliers; the PLM market is complex, and the software expanding and diversifying too rapidly for anybody but the most dedicated analysts and educators to keep pace.
Luckily, WhichPLM Academy’s eleven comprehensive modules, dedicated to everything from PLM’s history to the ins and outs of its implementation, were developed and will be taught by the finest educators we could find. Not to mention being supported by the knowledge base and ethics of the best analysts we know – ourselves.
Our team has been hard at work since March of this year building the strategy and the content for WhichPLM Academy, and its rigorous training (delivered via regularly-scheduled online lessons) is set to begin in early 2014 and to run for the foreseeable future, adapting according to new industry developments as they occur. Each of the eleven initial modules is given over to a particular segment of what we believe, taken as a whole, will be the best and most comprehensive PLM education available.
And we’re willing to stake our name on it.
Under the tutelage of a range of internationally-renowned PLM experts, students will achieve one of three levels of WhichPLM Academy accreditation – bronze, silver and gold – assessed via participation and short examination questionnaires issued after each module. The team will also offer a further, more advanced level of accreditation – delivered through one on one tuition – for those individuals who wish to make a career in PLM: Practitioner Certification.
We intend to release more information and a complete course list in the build-up to the launch of WhichPLM Academy. But whether you’re a PLM vendor seeking staff accreditation, or a boutique brand with a big project and an even bigger list of questions in mind, you’ll find unequalled insight, information and empowerment by embarking on your PLM journey with WhichPLM Academy.