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The WhichPLM Challenge!

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WhichPLM takes a look at why and how we are evaluating the PLM solutions serving the apparel/retail sector…

The past ten years has seen the PLM market evolve to a degree that there are now tens of companies offering multiple solutions, all aiming to ease customers’ product development woes. With an increasing number of technology vendors now offering some form of PLM to the apparel vertical, how can customers decide which PLM is right for their project? Well, with a little help from the right people you might say, but we wanted to go one further…

Early on in the selection process, customers view countless demonstrations of products, asking questions against their pre-defined requirements, before narrowing down the search to two or three vendors. Meeting and travel expenses may not impact a large corporation, but for smaller companies, project budget is limited. So, what if customers could access information on the PLM product and match against their requirements earlier on in the PLM buying process? Surely, that would make life easier for all concerned, thus, the WhichPLM Evaluation was formed..!

How do we evaluate?

Magnifying glassThe team behind WhichPLM has created the most comprehensive RFI (Request for Information) questionnaire to drive answers from a vendor on every piece of functionality their PLM system is capable of. The team visit the vendor and, question by question, the vendor demonstrates their answers using the live software. We score the answers based on how well the system completes the tasks and publish the results on the WhichPLM website.

How is this different from market research reports?

There are many ‘Top 10’, ‘Best PLM’ surveys in the public domain, highlighting the ‘top performing’ solutions. The truth is that these are the product of huge marketing budgets! Much of these surveys are not carried out impartially, or even scientifically, with, in most cases, vendors completing the questionnaires themselves. How can this be a trusted resource of information for customers seriously looking at PLM?!

At WhichPLM, we aim to help customers by providing them with clear and unbiased information on all of the solutions, so that they can make decisions based on facts and essentially get the best deal that matches there specific requirements.

WhichPLM evaluated so far…

Gerber Technology’s Fashion Lifecycle Management™ PLM solution was evaluated by WhichPLM experts in September, 2008. (FLM) extends WebPDM's product data management capabilities into a robust, enterprise-wide tool to manage and improve the product development process on a global basis. Click here to view the high-level results of the scoring (registered users only).

Zweave's PLM solution was evaluated by WhichPLM experts in July, 2008. Zweave’s solution is built on open-source architecture and code, allowing easy configuration pre and post implementation, seamless integration with other software like ERP and CAD, and 100% up-time. Additionally, Zweave is available both on-demand as Software as a Service (SaaS) and as a traditional software license. Click here to view the high-level results of the scoring (registered users only).

Lawson's Fashion PLM solution was evaluated by WhichPLM experts in September, 2008. Lawson Fashion Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a comprehensive product lifecycle management tool designed for retailers and manufacturers of apparel, home textiles and accessory companies. This flexible, collaborative, web-based suite of applications facilitates the management of products, from design all the way through to production. Click here to view the high-level results of the scoring (registered users only).

Upcoming: DeSL and several other PLM vendors have signed up to take on the WhichPLM challenge and be evaluated by our team of experts and we will publish the results asap.

Which PLM poll: who would you next like to see evaluated?

Take the WhichPLM Challenge!Last month’s WhichPLM poll asked users which PLM solution they would like to see evaluated by our team of experts. We had a great response to the poll, so many thanks to everyone who participated. The results indicated that the top six vendors that you would like to see evaluated are: PTC (32%), Dassault Systemes (17%), Lectra (11%), Siemens UGS (11%), Yunique Solutions (7%) and Infor (7%). We’ll pass these results on to the vendors. Look out for the new poll coming soon!

Contact us

If you would like to get in touch or comment on this article, please email us at: info@whichplm.com

Related links:

Mark Harrop: To be or not to be benchmarked
Mark Harrop: How to find you perfect PLM partner
WhichPLM group on Linked In

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.