Home News WhichPLM Editorial Review – 28 October 2011

WhichPLM Editorial Review – 28 October 2011


This week has been a momentous one for me and the rest of the WhichPLM team.  With the aim of bettering last year’s industry-defining Customer Survey, we spent the quiet summer months laying the groundwork for the WhichPLM Annual Review 2011.  Yesterday marked a milestone in that process, as we opened up the customer survey portion of the Review (which will also comprise the best interviews, features and analysis from the past twelve months alongside new premium content) to everybody.

If you are a customer of PLM – in any role – then, beginning today, we invite you to share your thoughts on the real day-to-day experience of working with PLM.  We estimate that the questionnaire will take no more than fifteen minutes of your time, and responses will be published anonymously as the core of the WhichPLM Annual Review 2011.

This year the survey has been designed to fit your schedule; using our portal, incomplete questionnaires can be saved and completed at a later date.  So why not have your say today?

Demonstrating just how far “expanded” PLM has grown, FastFit360 (suppliers of the eponymous 360-degree digital product viewing and annotation software) this week became the latest supplier to join our ranks.  Sampling and shipping is a major cost component of any apparel product’s lifecycle, and software like FastFit360 (which aims to eliminate the need for excessive sampling by providing virtual points of reference) represents  an excellent way to reduce those costs.

Packaging the recent trend for end-to-end systems (that is, solutions that cover the entire product lifecycle in one form or another) in a unique way this week are Visual 2000, who announced their new “PLM-as-a-platform” concept.  Taking in elements of ERP, SCM, WMS and other normally-separate solutions, the company announced several new software bundles designed to meet the unique needs of different apparel industry professionals.

Making waves this week were RLM, who announced that fashion luminaries Donna Karan have selected the vendor’s FashionManager solution to help streamline their product development and global operations.  As with any big name who chooses to adopt PLM (irrespective of the vendor), this news lends further weight to the idea that PLM is the prerequisite for modern product development, as shown by the diversity and stratospherically-high profile of those brands that have adopted it.

Finally, this week saw Gerber’s annual Ideation conference take place in Miami, Florida.  Alongside the hosts themselves, some 200 fashion industry leaders were reported to be present – taking part in a busy mix of demonstrations, case studies and panel discussions.

Ideation 2011 also saw the release of Gerber’s updated AccuMark software, and sponsorship (and a demonstration) from Singletree Technologies – suppliers of the Intellimas data management application.  As with other expanded solutions, Intellimas is designed to support and expand the capabilities of traditional, “core” PLM and ERP solutions.

As always, please contact me if you’d like to discuss any of this week’s developments.  In the coming fortnight we have interviews with some of the leading PLM vendors, a video demonstration of GSD’s Quest software, a review of Centric Software’s series of PLM seminars, feedback and insider details from Technia’s PLM Forum and much more.

In the meantime, if you have an opinion about the day-to-day experience of working with PLM, why not make your voice by taking part in our Customer Survey?  There are several prizes on offer to reward you for volunteering your time.

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.