(12th October 2016, The Museum of London Docklands) – Fast React Systems, global providers of planning, product lifecycle management (PLM) and sourcing solutions for the fashion industry, welcomed key delegates and captivating industry speakers to its UK Fashion PLM seminar this October.
Held in the heart of London’s revitalised industrial Docklands, the afternoon event showcased the latest version of Fast React’s Fashion PLM, Visionng, as well as providing attendees with up-to-the-minute PLM market analysis, supply chain intelligence, and change management insight from independent experts.
Key retailers and brands represented at the event included Alison Hayes, Bravissimo and Mulberry. Each of these organisations reserved time in their crowded calendar – in the face of mounting market pressures – to discover how PLM is helping a wider, more diverse range of businesses than ever before streamline processes and collaborate to increase the speed and efficiency of product development and sourcing.
The event was opened by Glenn Littlewood, Commercial Director of Coats Global Services, the technology based solutions division of Coats who acquired Fast React in May 2016. Having worked in senior roles for leading technology vendors’ PTC and Lectra, Glenn spoke from first-hand experience about the importance of PLM in helping brands, retailers, and manufacturers work more efficiently, manage complexity, increase speed to market, seize trend opportunities, and maintain margins in a competitive environment.
This assertion of the central place PLM occupies in the strategies of many apparel businesses was underlined with brand new, objective market analysis in the presentation that followed. Ben Hanson, Senior Contributor and Former Editorial Director of WhichPLM, charted the history of PLM, and guided the audience through its evolution from a simple data management system to one of the pillars of modern enterprise technology, deployed throughout international supply chains.
Ben’s presentation also centred around market research for the fiscal year 2015/16, which demonstrated the considerable growth of the PLM market for fashion, and made informed, optimistic predictions for its future in the UK and abroad. Critically, WhichPLM data revealed considerable uptake of PLM among small to medium businesses.
Prior to a short break, independent retail change consultant Vicki Barret, (currently working with Radley on the implementation of Vision PLM), emphasised the importance of looking beyond the ‘functional footprint’, and selecting a PLM partner who can add value beyond software. Vicki’s presentation also included essential guidance for businesses looking to maximise their chances of success through any kind of technology-driven transformation.
Discussion then turned to the supply chain and Andrew Brown (Group Managing Director of the Fast React Systems) shared some particularly interesting insights into how industry trends are increasing pressure on supplier performance, to the point where the industry is reaching a tipping point and many are questioning whether the supply chain is changing quickly enough to keep pace with brand and market demands. Andrew cited the concern of a leading US brand which is taking a direct steering role with its supply chain partners, investing in their own manufacturing excellence teams, and mandating that its suppliers adopt the same best in breed technologies that are already transforming their own businesses. “We can’t afford to wait for our suppliers to adopt the technology and we won’t continue to pay for their mistakes”.
The formal portion of the event closed with a well-received high level, walk-through of the latest version of Fast React’s Visionng PLM solution, focusing on a live demonstration of the highly visual and intuitive critical path management and supplier collaboration modules.
Finally, guests, speakers, and the Fast React team adjourned to the nearby Rum & Sugar for networking, cocktails, and a lively continuation of the day’s discussions.
Commenting on the success of the event, Gary Thompson (Chief Operating Officer of Fast React Systems) said that “We were delighted the event was so well received, and that guests valued the insights into industry trends and the way in which PLM is helping fashion businesses of all shapes and sizes face unprecedented market challenges, seize new opportunities and remain competitive.”