Home News WhichPLM Editorial Review – 1 August 2011

WhichPLM Editorial Review – 1 August 2011

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The final week of July has been typical in most respects, but momentous in others.

Industry activity appears to have resumed in earnest, with the usual fare of recruitment, revisions, implementations and white papers dominating the news over the past seven days.

DeSL announced last Monday that version 4.0 of its entire suite of products (PLM, SRM, ERP and E-Commerce) is now available.  Amongst other marquee features, version 4.0 includes comprehensive, bi-directional integration with Adobe Illustrator.  As the de facto industry design tool, we are seeing an increase in support and integration arrangements between it and most of the leading PLM solutions.  As DeSL have recognised, there is considerable value in allowing designers and other end users to continue to work with the software they’re accustomed to.  The better that software integrates with a given solution, the easier implementation and adoption will become.

Business Management Solutions (“BMS”) provided three insightful articles this week – the first of which was a whitepaper looking at how the right PLM solution can help to streamline the product development process.

In the second article, JW Yates looks at the impact of Social Compliance and Fair Labour requirements.  This is an issue that our own Rob Smith has examined in some depth in the past, and one that we plan to revisit in the near future.  As I’ve explained previously, data mandated by ethical compliance should always adhere to the “three Ts” – namely trust, transparency and traceability – which can collectively ensure that your global supply chain is populated with accurate, timely and accessible information.  The penalties for non-compliance (both here and in the environmental stakes) are clear, and only likely to become more severe as further legislation comes into effect around the globe.

Their third article is a further whitepaper examining the differences that make up the oft-foggy division between PLM and ERP.

One company that prides itself on knowing the differences between the two is PDP, who this week announced that their growth has been supported by the recruitment of two new Applications Engineers.  In line with our welcoming PLM consultancies to join WhichPLM, it appears as though the best of these consultancies are experiencing expansions commensurate with the overall growth of our industry.

Also recruiting this week have been Gerber Technology, who welcomed Glenn Funk to the post of PLM Solutions Manager.

One of the (if not the) central promises of PLM is its ability to streamline ways of working, and use these process efficiencies to deliver quantifiable results to a company’s bottom line.  One impact on that bottom line that isn’t often taken into account is that of the implementation itself.  Costs rise substantially when deadlines slip, which is why Centric’s record implementation time with Sundance Catalog Company is such good news.  Hopefully it will herald further reductions in time (and the associated cost) where large-scale implementations are concerned.

Another facet for which PLM solutions are renowned is technical excellence.  In that vein, Sable Systems this week announced that its PLM, CPG and Retail solutions had earned it the 2011 Microsoft Dynamics ISV Partner of the Year award for Asia Pacific.  As with WhichPLM verification, more and more vendors are recognising the value of accreditations, and the industry as a whole has more than earned its reputation for delivering uncompromising software quality across the board.

Finally, I was able to meet with representatives of both Lawson and Infor this week, who provided statements on the latter’s recent acquisition of the former.  Both are keen to reassure existing and prospective customers that RunTime and Fashion PLM will continue to see active support and development for as long as they remain in use.

For all the technological advancement, recruitment and educational initiatives, the Lawson acquisition has been a timely reminder that PLM for the retail, footwear and apparel industry is subject to the same financial forces that shape other markets.

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of the week’s news, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

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.