Home Guest blogs Guest Blog from BMS: Polka Dots, Pregnancy, and PLM…A Story

Guest Blog from BMS: Polka Dots, Pregnancy, and PLM…A Story


In a new guest blog, Mark Anderson of Business Management Systems uses a unique scenario to frame the importance of usability and data centralisation in PLM.

Inspiration can strike anywhere and at any time—all creative people know that, especially designers.  It is not unusual to see a designer’s desk littered with sketches on cocktail napkins, newspapers or the back of Publisher’s Clearing House prize notifications.  The trouble is trying to consolidate this information in a clear, organized fashion.  A good PLM system helps to solve this problem by creating simplicity. And with greater ease of use, there is more time for creativity.

Take this example:

Sunday: A very pregnant designer is one item away from finishing an entire line. As she sits at an outdoor café table, she becomes fascinated by a woman wearing a pink-polka dotted dress and a man in a green turtleneck (yes, an odd choice). She has an idea.  She scribbles something down on a napkin at the table, and then runs home to make a more detailed sketch on Adobe illustrator. Later, she finishes up and imports the sketch into her company’s PLM software. On the other end, her boss receives an automated email that says the designer’s task of finishing the line has been completed.

Monday: The designer gets an email from the boss the next morning. The boss is pleased. “Get me a design line list based on all your sketches by Wednesday,” she says. The designer spends the rest of day and evening drawing polka dot and green turtleneck inspired clothing and assembling fabrics and materials. By 7pm, she has the whole line arranged neatly on the design item list. She sends the information to her boss and goes home.

Tuesday: The next morning, the designer has another email from her boss. “Wow, that was fast…I love it all!” her boss says. “Send these down to product development so that they can start the specs on all the pieces? We need samples for the buyers in a month. Get going!” That night, the designer, the new project lead, uses the company’s VerTex PLM software to quickly and effortlessly assign the creation of the technical pack to the product development team. When she leaves work, she feels funny.

Wednesday: Early the next morning, the designer goes into labor two weeks early and is rushed to the hospital. She’ll be out for a few months and she still had some outstanding tasks remaining. In the past, a missing design or development team member could spell disaster—locating all her files, designs and notes could have taken days or even weeks.  All this uncertainty disappeared, however, when the company started working with their VerTex PLM system. Crisis averted.

Thursday: The Product Development team finishes the technical packet at 3pm and sends the information to their boss. The minute the technical pack is completed, the VerTex PLM work flow notified the costing and sample departments that the line items were ready to be made.

Friday: The next morning, as the designer sits in a hospital bed with her new little bundle of joy, her design team gets word that the technical pack has been approved. Later that day, the specifications are emailed to the manufacturer via the synched PLM system.

Two Weeks Later: The samples are returned from the manufacturer. The creative director quickly assembles the design and product development team for a fit session. The entire team is notified of needed changes by their individual dashboards and begins collaborating on a revised technical packet. With their Vertex PLM system, there is no confusion about which technical packet is the most current.

Two More Weeks Later: Venders take turns viewing the samples and a big buyer is secured. The company then quickly confirms with their manufacturer that they will be able to create and deliver the garments to each of the buyer’s sixteen stores by the onset of the fall season. Each step is deftly monitored on the company’s VerTex PLM system: sourcing, manufacturing schedules, and delivery times.

Two months later: Sales of the new line soar and the Company and their design team receive much acclaim. Unfortunately, the creative talent that created the successful product is still on maternity leave. Good thing all her work was saved into a centrally located database and the remaining design staff can use some of her past ideas to supplement their own in creating new and unique products.

Six months later: The Company continues its meteoric rise. Because of its efficiency, team spirit, and creativity, talented designers see the benefit of working at the company and join the team. The company also begins opening up their own chain of stores. Meanwhile, the original designer sits at a café—now, with an occupied stroller—planning her future.

To find out more about Business Management Systems, visit the company’s supplier listing.

Ben Hanson Ben Hanson is one of WhichPLM’s top contributors. Ben has worked for magazines, newspapers, local government agencies, multi-million pound conservation projects, museums and creative publications before his eventual migration to the Retail, Footwear and Apparel industry.Having previously served as WhichPLM’s Editor, Ben knows the WhichPLM style, and has been responsible for many of our on-the-ground reports and interviews over the last few years. With a background in literature, marketing and communications, Ben has more than a decade’s worth of experience, and is now viewed as one of the industry’s best-known writers.