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What is PLM and why brands need it

As companies look to improve their product offerings, reduce costs, and scale their business, it comes as no surprise that there’s a growing interest in product lifecycle management (PLM) software across a variety of industries. In an age where innovation is the key to business success, PLM plays a critical role in helping manufacturers streamline product development and drive continuous improvement. Let’s see why PLM solutions are crucial for a smooth product development flow and what benefits they bring to businesses.

What is Product Lifecycle Management

Each product we use in everyday life has been conceived, designed, produced, and will be eventually retired. So, each product goes through a whole lifecycle, including concept and design, development, production and launch, service and support, and retirement. Product lifecycle management can be defined as a systematic approach to managing all these changes a product goes through.

PLM software, in turn, is a solution that manages all of the information and processes at every step of a product lifecycle. This includes the data from items, parts, products, documents, requirements, engineering change orders, and quality workflows. A PLM solution unifies all the tasks and the teams involved in the product development lifecycle and helps companies track each item, from its conception to its retirement, all within one platform. Without further ado, let’s explore why PLM is important for your business.

PLM provides better collaboration

Product development and manufacturing is a team effort, so smooth collaboration is crucial for efficient workflow. Suppliers, design, development, and quality teams, need to all work together to get the job done — and if their communication isn’t up to par, it will be harder for them to deliver the best possible product. PLM provides a centralized source of information about a product and allows team members to track all product revisions so that everyone knows what has happened at every step of the project. Alongside this, it brings all spreadsheets, emails, documents under one umbrella, improving collaboration and efficiency.

PLM decreases time-to-market and prevents unexpected expenses

Without a system to manage all the different aspects of creating a new product, it’s pretty easy for product development to run behind schedule and over budget. PLM software enables companies to reduce time-to-market for a new product and avoid unplanned expenses. By unifying several tasks and departments, PLM solutions provide immediate access to all product development data and ensure better management. Streamlined data-sharing considerably reduces the risk of error and delay. Companies that use PLM solutions report that their time-to-market has decreased by up to 75%.

A great example of how a brand managed to speed up product development time is Corneliani’s experience of implementing PLM software. The brand faced fierce competition from new e-commerce and fast-fashion players who were delivering products faster at lower prices. To keep pace with the market, the fashion brand needed to accelerate the product lifecycle through better decision-making, but without compromising the quality of items. The PLM system helped the brand achieve that by improving collaboration between team members and external suppliers.

PLM helps enable sustainable production

Some industries are massive consumers of the world’s natural resources and are often criticized for their environmental footprint. For example, the fashion sector is the world’s second most polluting industry, contributing 8% of all carbon emissions and 20% of all global wastewater, with an anticipated 50% increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. As a result, fashion manufacturers are under pressure from consumers and governments to reduce their negative impact on the environment.

PLM software helps businesses switch from fast fashion to mindful production. Firstly, PLM systems allow brands to define business rules and ensure that people, products, and processes are following the company’s sustainability agenda. Secondly, with PLM it’s much easier for companies to track the origin of fabrics and materials from suppliers to factories. This allows brands to ensure that their suppliers aren’t contributing to environmental pollution. PLM helps manufacturers better manage the materials they use for product development, reuse and recycle them if it’s possible, and track how many materials they need so that they don’t over order.

With PLM, companies can also monitor the total CO2 emissions generated during the lifetime of their product. For example, Allbirds, the global lifestyle brand that sells eco-friendly shoes and apparel made with natural materials, has implemented PLM to calculate their CO2e emissions throughout the entire product development process. According to the brand, before looking at margins, they will check whether or not they’re achieving the carbon score that they’ve set.

How to make PLM more efficient with the 3DShot app

3DShot allows anybody to create and embed interactive 3D visualizations of products using only a smartphone. Since the app is so easy to use and allows you to create high quality digital twins of products within a matter of minutes, it’s an indispensable tool for Product Lifecycle Management. 3DShot can be used at all stages of production, from designing a product to shooting a finished piece.

For instance, a designer can easily create a digital twin of their product and share the link with customers and partners or embed it into PLM software. Colleagues can then examine the piece from different angles, zoom in and see all tiny details. They can also record video feedback, while interacting with a digital twin of the piece. Creating digital twins with 3DShot doesn’t require special training. Any employee can create a digital twin in 5 minutes — all they need is a smartphone. Please watch this video to learn more:

Download the app to create a digital twin:

On October 5, 2022, at 9:00 AM CDT, the Cappasity team will conduct a webinar on digital twin creation technology for the products manufacturing process. At the webinar, you’ll learn how immersive content improves team collaboration during the product development process; how to share digital twins in chats, through corporate sites and PM/PLM software; how to create a digital twin using a smartphone, and more.

To register for the webinar, follow the event page:

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