Zweave https://zweave.com Enterprise Software Solutions for Manufacturers & Retail Sun, 05 Nov 2017 00:54:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Zweave and Trendalytics Partner to Accelerate Seasonal Apparel Product Lines https://zweave.com/news/zweave-and-trendalytics-partner-to-accelerate-seasonal-apparel-product-lines/ Thu, 23 Jul 2015 23:32:26 +0000 http://zweave.com/?post_type=news&p=2440 NEW YORK and BOSTON, MA – August 14, 2015: Zweave and Trendalytics today announced a strategic partnership that will help retailers and branded consumer products manufacturers transform merchandising decision-making and improve seasonal product development efficiency. This alliance brings together big data trend analytics with the retail industry’s leading Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. Through this partnership, seasonal product […]

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NEW YORK and BOSTON, MA – August 14, 2015: Zweave and Trendalytics today announced a strategic partnership that will help retailers and branded consumer products manufacturers transform merchandising decision-making and improve seasonal product development efficiency.

LOGO_TrendalyticsThis alliance brings together big data trend analytics with the retail industry’s leading Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. Through this partnership, seasonal product line plans can be brought to market quickly using the retail industry’s most widely adopted PLM solution.

“Trendalytics is a natural extension to Product Lifecycle Management and brings the power of big data analytics to support the decision making processes throughout the product lifecycle,” said David Buck, CEO of Zweave. “With access to Trendalytics’ unique data sources, retail merchants, buyers, and designers will gain significant competitive advantage from higher yielding merchandising plans and improved product design and approval decisions. We look forward to introducing Trendalytics to retailers and enable them to extend the capabilities of their PLM systems with actionable data supporting product lifecycle decisions.”

Trendalytics is a leading cloud-based retail analytics platform offering information combining eCommerce, social and search media, with the language and imagery of the retail marketplace. Zweave delivers product development process improvements to retailers, and branded consumer products manufacturers through the implementation of innovative software applications. Zweave is a value added reseller of PTC’s FlexPLM solution and will add Trendalytics to the portfolio of industry leading solutions they offer retailers and consumer products manufacturers.

“When it comes to spotting trends and industry influences, Trendalytics is an undisputed global leader in enabling companies to take advantage of emerging technologies and platforms,” “This important partnership with Zweave will change the way business decisions are made – from identifying emerging market trends to more profitable seasonal product assortments.” said Larry Nipon, Trendalytics CRO.

Trendalytics’ unique data-driven view of consumer demand is a game changer for the retail industry. They have created an entirely new class of product market data which enables retailers and product manufacturers to make more informed decisions about product assortments and when to have the products available to the consumer in the retail marketplace,” said Enrico “Ric” Lara, president of Retail Solutions at Zweave.

About Zweave

Zweave provides Strategy, Process, and IT Consulting services to organizations in the retail, apparel, footwear, and consumer products industries. Zweave empowers product development and retail organizations to use innovative information systems to reduce the cost and time to develop successful new products.  Zweave’s deep domain experience helps companies use technology such as Trend Analytics, PLM, CAD and ERP to streamline their product design-to-delivery processes using industry best practice methods. For more information about our partnership with Trendalytics, please visit:  Zweave Trendalytics 

About Trendalytics

Trendalytics is a SaaS technology company leveraging big data specifically for the Retail, Apparel and Beauty industries.  The innovative platform synthesizes industry specific social, search, and ecommerce data to deliver a visual and actionable set of dynamic analytics.  Previously only available through the use of multiple, unrelated services, Trendalytics provides an efficient and cost effective business intelligence solution for marketing and merchandising teams resulting in significant ROI.

Press Contact: Kathleen Keating FastStartPR   Kathy@faststartpr.com 617-460-2702

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Zweave Implements PTC FlexPLM for Avalanche Outdoor Apparel in Two Months https://zweave.com/news/zweave-implements-ptc-flexplm-avalanche-outdoor-apparel-two-months/ Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:30:14 +0000 http://zweave.com/?post_type=news&p=2358 Zweave’s Fast-Forward™ methodology maximizes Avalanche’s ROI because of rapid deployment of the industry’s best PLM solution (BOSTON, Jan 20, 2014) Zweave, Inc.  has sold and delivered PTC’s FlexPLM solution to Avalanche Outdoor Apparel Co, a family owned and operated outdoor apparel company in historic Salem, Massachusetts known for quality and value in the outdoor apparel industry. […]

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Zweave’s Fast-Forward™ methodology maximizes Avalanche’s ROI because of rapid deployment of the industry’s best PLM solution

(BOSTON, Jan 20, 2014) Zweave, Inc.  has sold and delivered PTC’s FlexPLM solution to Avalanche Outdoor Apparel Co, a family owned and operated outdoor apparel company in historic Salem, Massachusetts known for quality and value in the outdoor apparel industry. Zweave is a leading IT solutions company who specializes in selling and delivering Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions to the Retail, Footwear, Apparel and Consumer Products industries. Zweave is the only Value Added Reseller (VAR) for PTC FlexPLM and is focused on the Small to Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB) segment.

Zweave has developed a new, streamlined PLM implementation methodology called Fast-Forward™, which implements PTC Windchill FlexPLM in mid-market companies in the retail and consumer products manufacturing markets.  The Fast-Forward methodology delivers rapid results by focusing on best practices and aligning future-state processes with leading PLM software capabilities.  Fast-Forward includes deliverable templates, which represent Zweave and PTC best practices derived from more than a decade of experience delivering PLM solutions to the largest retailers and consumer products manufacturers.

avalanche wear apparel manufacturerTalia Petrucci, VP of Design & Development, Avalanche Outdoor Apparel Co., said, “”We are excited to surpass our homegrown systems and purchase PTC FlexPLM from Zweave to streamline our data sources to deliver more accurate product information, as well as scale our growth. PLM is becoming necessary to compete in todays fast pace environment, but deciding whether or not to adopt PLM has been a challenge for us due to a reputation for being difficult to implement, having high cost, and requiring a lot of resources to maintain. Our doubts disappeared when Zweave designed and introduced an amazing new method which included a quick implementation process that had our company up and running on PLM in less than 2 months with no disruption to our operations. Zweave was able to eliminate the barriers that would normally cause delay in adoption and offered us a leading PLM system that was quickly and easily deployed.  We now have increased productivity, efficiency and a better overall design process.”

David Buck, Chief Executive Officer of Zweave, said, “We are proud to work with PTC to provide Windchill FlexPLM to smaller businesses in the retail, footwear, and apparel industry. For the Avalanche implementation, we incorporated best practices, unique methodologies and tools to rapidly implement FlexPLM in 6 weeks.  This approach is dramatically faster than a typical PLM implementation schedule. By using our Fast-Forward methodology, we reduced the deployment time significantly, and we can now offer the lowest cost to implement PLM in the consumer products industry. Our approach now enables small to medium sized businesses to adopt the same PLM solution used by the industry leaders.  Fast-Forward has revolutionized the way PLM is deployed.”

About Zweave

Zweave has been providing expert PLM related services since 2002 to organizations in the Retail, Apparel, Footwear, Consumer Products and safety apparel industries.  Zweave has developed deep domain experience across a range of strategic, process, and implementation services for these industries.  Zweave helps companies implement PLM systems that streamline their product design to delivery process and leverage industry best-practice methods.  For the past decade, Zweave has worked with the largest organizations to use PLM to maintain their dominant position in the market.   Zweave now offers PLM products and services methodologies to enable much smaller companies use PLM to increase their competitiveness and reduce the cost and time to market.  Get more information by downloading the whitepaper titled “The 15 Reasons for Choosing Zweave for your PLM Project

15 reasons for choosing Zweave - PLM for Apparel Industry

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6 Ways to Manage Your PLM Standard Data Libraries Without Burning the Midnight Oil https://zweave.com/2014/11/6-ways-manage-plm-standard-data-libraries-without-burning-midnight-oil/ Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:25:55 +0000 http://zweave.com/?p=2343 Does your company rely on spreadsheets to keep track of all the materials used to manufacture its products? Although spreadsheets are suitable for a wide variety of business applications, they become time-consuming, error-prone, and ineffectual over time when used for listing, revising, and sourcing materials for an expanding portfolio of products. Fortunately, today’s Product Lifecycle […]

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Does your company rely on spreadsheets to keep track of all the materials used to manufacture its products?

Although spreadsheets are suitable for a wide variety of business applications, they become time-consuming, error-prone, and ineffectual over time when used for listing, revising, and sourcing materials for an expanding portfolio of products.

Fortunately, today’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems provide even small and medium-sized companies with proven methodologies for managing standard data libraries that reduce data redundancy, improve data quality, increase data visibility, and offer real-time data access to all stakeholders.

To build and maintain a reliable foundation of standard material and supplier information for your company’s products, focus on these 6 essential components of efficient product data management:

1. Set up a hierarchical Material Library.

First, define all of the standard material types that are characterized by unique combinations of specific attributes.  These material types form the top level of the library’s hierarchical structure, which facilitates attribute inheritance by all materials associated with each material type.  Whenever a change is made to a shared attribute of a particular type of material, that change propagates automatically to all materials connected to that material type.

For each material in the library, include its primary source as well as the applicable unit of measure and base unit price.

RetailPLMSolution_FeatureImage2. Assemble materials.

Create a Bill of Materials (BOM) for each product, listing its material structure along with the required amount of each material.  Define a separate BOM for each material assembly that is a common structural component of multiple products.  For increased efficiency, place material assemblies into other assemblies to create multi-level assembly structures where possible.

Associate each material in the BOM with its current supplier; if necessary, override the supplier information carried over from the Material Library.

3. Track material usage.

Identify all products and material assemblies in which each material is used.  Roll up the data to determine how many different sources provide each of these materials to your company on a seasonal or annual basis.  Use this information to reduce raw material costs by purchasing larger volumes from fewer suppliers.

Monitor material usage and make bulk changes as needed in response to fluid market conditions or new material requirements.  Examples include material swaps as well as changes to material quantity, quality, supplier, color, etc.

4. Establish a Material Suppliers Library.

For each of your suppliers, maintain a detailed record of pertinent vendor relationship data including delivery lead times, order minimums, units of measure, pricing structures, etc.  Track the historical performance of each supplier as well as all results of material quality and conformance testing.

Stipulate a set of standard performance criteria that all suppliers must meet or exceed in order to be designated as approved suppliers.

5. Set up a library for Quality Assurance Test Specifications (QATS).

Define specific quality requirements and related testing specifications for each material and/or material type.  Use these quality assurance standards in conjunction with the information in your Material Suppliers Library to request testing from suppliers, monitor their compliance, and maintain thorough records of test results.

6. Read-Zweave-PLM-ArticlesDefine material/color relationships.

Specify all valid relationships between each material and one or more colors in the Color Library.  Then, identify the supplier(s) for each material/color relationship to associate other attributes such as price, quality testing results, lead times, etc.

Clearly, spreadsheets are inadequate for fully implementing the 6 fundamental components of standard-based product data management as described above.  Instead of spreadsheets, PLM systems utilize web-based data libraries that function as single, shared sources of up-to-date information about all of your products, materials, and suppliers.  Data redundancies are eliminated, data entry time is reduced, consistency of data across products is assured, and real-time access to data is available to all stakeholders, both internal and external.

When integrated into a well-designed PLM system, your company’s product data becomes a driving force for making the informed, proactive decisions that result in increased profitability.

If your company uses spreadsheets for recording each product’s Bill of Materials, sourcing those materials, and monitoring material quality, we encourage you to consider implementing a product data management system as part of an overall PLM strategy to streamline the process and increase operational efficiency.

Zweave offers consulting services for companies of all sizes that are interested in exploring the benefits of converting to a PLM model.  To learn more about our proven approach and extensive experience in implementing PLM systems, please contact us or download our whitepaper “15 Reasons to Choose Zweave for Your PLM Project”.

15 reasons for choosing Zweave - PLM for Apparel Industry

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Simple Ways to Keep Your Sanity While You Manage Your New Products Portfolio https://zweave.com/2014/10/simple-ways-keep-sanity-manage-new-products-portfolio/ Wed, 29 Oct 2014 01:08:03 +0000 http://zweave.com/?p=2300 Adept management of your company’s new products portfolio requires high-level oversight of every aspect of the merchandising process, from preliminary product ideation all the way through to the final specifications for each seasonal product line.  As the size of your portfolio increases, so too does the challenge of managing the decision-making process to maximize product […]

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Adept management of your company’s new products portfolio requires high-level oversight of every aspect of the merchandising process, from preliminary product ideation all the way through to the final specifications for each seasonal product line.  As the size of your portfolio increases, so too does the challenge of managing the decision-making process to maximize product line profitability with the right mix of in-demand products. keep sanity while manage new product portfolioObjective, fact-based product assessments and comparisons are essential for informing your decisions on whether to drop or move forward with each product in the portfolio.  To simplify this complex and detail-laden process as much as possible, focus your efforts on these five fundamental tasks:

  1. Create and maintain an interactive, web-based seasonal merchandising plan that allows you to see your entire product line on a single screen.

Direct access to accurate and complete product development data is the cornerstone of effective product line decision-making.  An online merchandise planning system provides a shared data platform for your merchandising and design teams; it also captures the up-to-date information you need to make timely product line decisions in response to fluid market trends.  Flexible data query capabilities enable on-screen views and comparisons of data for individual products and for groups of products filtered according to specific attributes.

  1. Set financial goals by defining the target profit for each product category, geographic region, and/or market segment.

Making budget for the overall product line for the selling season is your key indicator of success.  To achieve this goal, it is essential to consider the vagaries of the market and define specific profit goals for unique product categories, geographic areas, and market segments.

  1. Establish product-centric goals such as product count, carryover percentage, target retail price, and target margin for each product. 

Define these goals for each product in the portfolio and share the data with your sourcing team early in the planning process so they can begin to identify suppliers that will meet product requirements at the desired price point.   This gives your company a head start on the sourcing and costing of its complete product line.

  1. Product Portfolio Management Line PlanGenerate product placeholders automatically, driven directly by the top-level merchandising plan.

Designers take direction from the seasonal merchandising plan to create specifications for new products.  Placeholders are used to set aside additional space in the portfolio for your designers to submit multiple product design alternatives for consideration.

  1. Define seasonal themes including color and material palettes as well as styling based on anticipated consumer trends.

Seasonal products reflect subsets of your overall product line.  Create seasonal themes by defining sets of specific colors, materials, and styles to associate with seasonal product lines.

Rather than relying on a combination of spreadsheets and ad hoc analysis to select products for upcoming seasonal product lines, today’s manufacturing leaders are making strategic investments in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems that leverage technology to facilitate more collaborative processes for defining and managing product portfolios. Successful PLM system implementations consistently lead to significant improvements in multiple business processes, resulting in measurable reductions in product development cycle times.  No longer just for large manufacturers, PLM systems are now available for companies of all sizes.   To learn how an automated PLM system aligns with your company’s product development requirements, please download our whitepaper explaining the twelve most important considerations for selecting a PLM system. dozen technical considerations when choosing a product portfolio management solution If you are considering a PLM implementation and need help calculating the business value of a PLM system, please feel free to download the business case whitepaper. Calculate the PLM product value business case

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Zweave to Expand Offering of PTC Windchill FlexPLM to Mid-Market Retail, Footwear and Apparel Companies https://zweave.com/news/zweave-expand-offering-ptc-windchill-flexplm-mid-market-retail-footwear-apparel-companies/ Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:46:39 +0000 http://zweave.com/?post_type=news&p=2297 Zweave to Expand Offering of PTC Windchill FlexPLM to Mid-Market Retail, Footwear and Apparel Companies Zweave Becomes PTC Gold Partner for Sale and Rapid Deployment of PTC® Windchill® FlexPLM® Solution NEEDHAM, MA – October 27, 2014 – Zweave today announced that it has joined  the PTC Channel Advantage™ program at the gold tier and will deliver PTC Windchill […]

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Zweave to Expand Offering of PTC Windchill FlexPLM to Mid-Market Retail, Footwear and Apparel Companies

Zweave Becomes PTC Gold Partner for Sale and Rapid Deployment of PTC® Windchill® FlexPLM® Solution

NEEDHAM, MA – October 27, 2014 – Zweave today announced that it has joined  the PTC Channel Advantage™ program at the gold tier and will deliver PTC Windchill FlexPLM Value-Ready Deployments to mid-market Retail, Footwear and Apparel (RFA) companies.  PTC Windchill FlexPLM has enabled fortune 500 companies to improve speed to market, reduce product costs, improve product quality, and enable real-time supplier collaboration, resulting in increased revenue, improved market performance, and higher profit margins.  PTC Windchill FlexPLM is the solution of choice for 80% of the industry’s largest RFA retailers and wholesalers.

PTC-Logo“PTC has partnered with its broad range of domestic and international customers to continually improve PTC Windchill FlexPLM technology and formalize the delivery of a solution that embodies a suite of the industry’s best practices,” said Brion Carroll, vice president, Retail & Consumer Global Business Development, PTC. “We look forward to working with Zweave to help mid-market organizations gain true competitive advantage with the implementation of our PTC Windchill FlexPLM solution.”

Zweave Uniquely Offers A New – Fast-Forward™ Methodology for Small and Medium Businesses

Zweave offers unique, turnkey solutions for mid-market manufacturers and retailers of consumer products.  Zweave has developed a new, streamlined PLM implementation methodology called Fast-Forward™, which implements PTC Windchill FlexPLM in mid-market companies in the retail and consumer products manufacturing markets.  The Fast-Forward methodology delivers rapid solutions results by focusing on best practices and aligning future state processes with leading PLM software capabilities.  Fast-Forward incorporates Zweave and PTC best practices and deliverable templates leveraged from over decade of experience working with the largest retailers and consumer products manufacturers on their PLM initiatives.

“For more than a decade, Zweave has developed deep domain expertise by delivering PLM solutions in the Retail, Footwear, and Apparel markets, said David Buck, Zweave President, “We are proud to work with  PTC to provide PTC Windchill FlexPLM to mid-market companies in the RFA markets”

About Zweave

Zweave blue logo1Zweave has been providing expert PLM related services since 2002 to organizations in the Apparel, Footwear, Consumer Products and Defense Clothing industries.  Zweave has developed deep domain experience across a range of strategic, process and implementation services for these industries.  Zweave helps companies implement PLM systems that streamline their product design to delivery process and leverage industry best-practice methods.  For the past decade Zweave has worked with the largest organizations to use PLM to maintain their dominant position in the market.   Zweave now offers PLM products and services methodologies to enable much smaller companies use PLM to increase their competitiveness and reduce the cost and time to market.  Get more information at http://www.Zweave.com.

PTC, Channel Advantage, Windchill and FlexPLM are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

Calculate the PLM product value business case

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7 Best Practices for a Winning PLM Strategy https://zweave.com/2014/10/7-best-practices-winning-plm-strategy/ Wed, 08 Oct 2014 14:47:04 +0000 http://zweave.com/?p=2262 The success of any given company’s PLM strategy is judged according to a variety of objective and subjective measures.  But what are the primary determinants of success?  To answer that question, PTC Global Services and Tech-Clarity examined the PLM experiences of 190 different North American and European manufacturers, representing a diverse mix of industries and […]

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The success of any given company’s PLM strategy is judged according to a variety of objective and subjective measures.  But what are the primary determinants of success?  To answer that question, PTC Global Services and Tech-Clarity examined the PLM experiences of 190 different North American and European manufacturers, representing a diverse mix of industries and company sizes.  The results of their analyses are presented in the 2012 e-book entitled “High Performance PLM:Key Success Factors for PLM Strategy, Implementation, and Adoption”, which summarizes the business and operational goals of PLM and then compares company performances relative to those objectives.

As illustrated in the bar chart below, the 22% of companies that ranked as high performers in the study achieved significantly better results than everyone else in the important categories of improving product time to market (8.9% vs. 1.5%, or 5.9 times better), increasing product development efficiency (13.3% vs. 1.3%, or 10.2 times better), and reducing product cost (5.8% vs. 1.1%, or 5.3 times better).

elements of a successful PLM strategy

Although some may question the magnitude of these reported differences in performance, our experience in implementing PLM solutions over the past 15 years is directionally consistent with these results.   We have seen repeatedly that companies achieve significant performance improvements as a result of implementing fully integrated PLM systems, and we concur with the study’s conclusion that different levels of improvement are directly related to “how companies plan, implement, and adopt PLM”.

There are 7 essential components of planning, implementing, and adopting a successful PLM strategy:

  1. Understand the full scope of your PLM system requirements.

  • Watch PLM Bootcamp VideosConsider the needs of all stakeholders, both internal and external to your company.
  • Define all high-level business requirements as well as detailed functional requirements for each operational area.
  • Assess the technical considerations for system architecture, data security, and compatibility with existing information systems and applications such as Adobe Illustrator, SAP, and others commonly used in consumer product development.
  • Utilize PLM templates to document all business and functional requirements and to ensure that the specification process addresses all relevant needs.
  1. Align your PLM strategy with your company’s business objectives.

  • Determine which specific strategic goals can be addressed effectively through PLM.
  • Look at PLM system implementation as an opportunity to initiate change in the way you do business.
  • Don’t just “pave the cow paths” by automating your company’s existing processes; instead, make process improvement an integral part of your PLM system definition efforts.
  1. Collaborate widely across organizational levels and functions to establish consensus and obtain buy-in from all stakeholders.

  • Educate all stakeholders on the need for a fully integrated PLM system and its anticipated value to the business in terms of productivity and profitability.
  • Communicate throughout all phases of PLM system implementation to increase visibility and keep all stakeholders well informed about upcoming changes in both technology and operational processes.
  1. Develop and follow a PLM roadmap to guide system implementation.

  • PLM Educational VideosDefine clear, measurable goals.
  • Assign project management roles and responsibilities.
  • Identify resource and investment requirements.
  • Highlight critical business deadlines.
  • Establish benchmarks for monitoring system implementation progress.
  1. Provide role-based user training to ensure successful adoption of the new PLM system tools and processes.

  • Offer training that gives users the skills and knowledge they need to perform their jobs in the new PLM system environment.
  • Make flexible training resources available through person-to-person instruction, online classes, self-paced learning, and embedded help options for on-the-job assistance.
  1. Select the industry-leading PLM software.

  • dozen technical considerations when choosing a PLM SystemLook for a system with industry-specific functionality that is closely aligned with your company’s product development requirements.
  • Look for an installed base of users in your industry for evidence of system viability, maturity, and reliability.
  • Look for a system that offers out-of-the-box functionality that can be configured to meet your business needs without software customization.
  1. Partner with a well-qualified PLM service provider who meets the following criteria:

  • Knows your industry and the best practices that pertain to your company’s needs.
  • Understands the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder.
  • Has a proven history of successful PLM project management experience.
  • Provides assistance with all phases of PLM system implementation and ongoing support.
  • Offers guidance and expertise in product development strategy as well as business process analysis and improvement.

Zweave provides comprehensive consulting services for companies of all sizes that are interested in implementing PLM systems to streamline their product design-to-delivery processes and leverage industry best practices.  Whether your company is in the early stages of considering PLM or has already adopted PLM but is not achieving the expected results, our expert consultants are available to partner with you in defining and reaching your PLM objectives.  Please contact us or download our whitepaper “15 Reasons to Choose Zweave for Your PLM Project” to learn more about our proven approach and extensive experience in PLM system design, installation, and support.

Calculate the PLM product value business case

15 reasons for choosing Zweave - PLM for Apparel Industry

 

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3 Ways To Master PLM Vendor Selection Without Breaking A Sweat https://zweave.com/2014/09/3-ways-master-plm-vendor-selection-without-breaking-sweat/ Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:30:03 +0000 http://zweave.com/?p=2248 If implementation of a web-based Product Lifecycle Management system is one of your company’s strategic goals, you are faced with the dual challenges of defining the needs of all stakeholders and evaluating the competing PLM solutions currently on the market.   The key to accomplishing this goal with minimal “sweat equity” is to develop a […]

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If implementation of a web-based Product Lifecycle Management system is one of your company’s strategic goals, you are faced with the dual challenges of defining the needs of all stakeholders and evaluating the competing PLM solutions currently on the market.   The key to accomplishing this goal with minimal “sweat equity” is to develop a clear and complete understanding of all functional requirements to fully inform your PLM vendor selection efforts.

Ger your PLM Vendor Selection rightTo minimize risk and ensure a successful outcome, keep these 3 fundamental points in mind throughout all phases of the PLM vendor selection process:

#1 – Look for a Product Lifecycle Management system with out-of-the-box functionality that fits your business without the need for software customization. 

  • Document the detailed functional requirements for your PLM system, utilizing functional requirements templates to ensure comprehensive needs assessment.
  • Look for a system with industry-specific functionality that is closely aligned with your company’s product development requirements.
  • Look for functionality that can be configured through the web to accommodate the unique, specialized needs of users across your global product development value chain.
  • Make sure the system meets high performance benchmarks and is easily scalable to accommodate future growth.
  • Consider only PLM systems that are developed using open, industry-standard technologies.

#2 – Look for an installed base of PLM customers in your industry to use as references for real-world insight into the following issues:

  • Watch PLM Bootcamp VideosSystem uptime and reliability
  • Ease of installation
  • Intuitiveness of user interface
  • System costs versus benefits
  • Effectiveness of user training
  • Ongoing system maintenance
  • Vendor support services

#3 – Look for a strong software vendor who is committed to your market.

  • Choose a vendor who offers a mature Product Lifecycle Management system with a long history in your industry and a demonstrated commitment to users.
  • Consider only well-established vendors with sizable user bases; such vendors have incentives to invest in upgrades and new releases, taking guidance from their large customers to make PLM product improvements that benefit all of their users.
  • Select a proven PLM vendor to leverage industry best practices that address your company’s specific requirements.

For the best results with PLM vendor selection and system implementation, talk to a qualified service provider who knows the Product Lifecycle Management market in your industry.

Look for a PLM system consultant who:

  • Possesses in-depth knowledge of both Product Lifecycle Management and your particular industry
  • Understands the responsibilities and information needs of each stakeholder in your industry’s value chain
  • Recognizes the need to empower each stakeholder by ensuring there is a single point of truth for product technical data and logistics information
  • Utilizes structured project delivery methodologies to facilitate successful completion of every step of the implementation process
  • Provides a comprehensive range of services from product development strategy through business process improvement in addition to PLM system implementation and support

Zweave assists companies in all phases of PLM system implementation to streamline their product design-to-delivery processes and leverage industry best practice methods.  To learn more about our proven approach and expertise, please download our whitepaper15 Reasons to Choose Zweave for Your PLM Project”. 15 reasons for choosing Zweave - PLM for Apparel Industry

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10 PLM Initiatives for Retailers and Consumer Goods Manufacturers https://zweave.com/2014/08/10-plm-initiatives-retailers-consumer-goods-manufacturers/ Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:30:50 +0000 http://zweave.com/?p=2156 PLM is a strategic business initiative, which includes a number of high-return process improvements. These PLM initiatives can be considered sub-projects under an overall PLM project. The following business practice examples are taken from prior client case studies and provide excellent candidate projects for your organization’s PLM Roadmap. 1.              New Product Innovation Many consumer goods […]

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PLM is a strategic business initiative, which includes a number of high-return process improvements. These PLM initiatives can be considered sub-projects under an overall PLM project. The following business practice examples are taken from prior client case studies and provide excellent candidate projects for your organization’s PLM Roadmap.

1.              New Product Innovation

PLM Initiatives for retail and consumer product companiesMany consumer goods manufacturers need to develop more product styles than their merchandise calendar requires. This may be the case at your organization.   One approach to solving this problem is to improve the efficiency of the innovation processes to allow more design projects to run concurrently. Another approach is to reduce the number of new styles moving from merchandising to technical design.  PLM offers Merchandising and product planning with the early cost and sourcing information they need to focus development on the products that will provide the best value to the business.

2.              Product Line Planning

Line Planning tools and techniques allow your organization to select the right products to pursue while reducing resource competition from less strategic products. This portfolio approach allows your organization to complete more products efficiently with the same capacity, simply by reducing the clutter from lower value products. At the same time, the products completed will be of higher strategic value to the business. One advantage of the Line Planning approach offered by many PLM solutions is that it can be implemented without significant disruption to current processes and systems.  The Line Planning capabilities available from a PLM solution will primarily support Sales and Merchandising.  However, the improved product portfolio visibility will bring meaningful benefits to the Styling and Design departments.

3.              Process Management

Another way to overcome a capacity constraint is to improve the throughput of the product innovation process itself. PLM solutions include project management tools and best business practices, which involve review and approval gates. These solutions provide companies with the ability to better manage their innovation projects, so they run more efficiently and have significant reductions in rework. Significant gains have been achieved by enabling world-class process management the innovation and approval processes.

4.              Design Rationalization

Design Rationalization is a business practice that can benefit to a company implementing a PLM project. PLM helps Designers take advantage of standard material definitions and supports a systematic review of existing designs to analyze whether duplicate designs can be rationalized.  It also helps Design find opportunities to replace materials with less expensive alternatives. In addition, standardization of designs enables more rapid development of similar designs when designing new products.

5.              Design Collaboration

Design Collaboration is a PLM initiative focused on reducing time to market by improving the effectiveness of the design process. This initiative aims to reduce new product introduction lead-times because products can be completed more quickly when they are run efficiently and when they are not competing with too many other products.

6.              Strategic Sourcing

A common problem that many companies have is the inability to find material definitions quickly. Many companies have significant redundancies in the raw materials, trims and accessories. This lack of control results in redundant inventory, and reduces the ability to take advantage of bulk discounts in purchasing.  PLM based materials management can help avoid stock out situations by helping to identify a perfectly acceptable material is sitting in inventory or is available from another supplier. Specification management and product data management tools with parametric search capabilities can be implemented in order to allow designers to search existing items before creating new ones. Strategic sourcing initiatives can leverage these common material definitions to take advantage of larger volume purchases for a smaller number of items.

7.              Vendor Collaboration

Many companies have opportunities to shorten the time it takes to bring a product to market by involving their suppliers in the design process by sharing product information with them. Many design processes are inefficient and require multiple iterations between internal departments, suppliers and vendors. By implementing collaborative processes and tools, companies can share product information with “downstream” parties to ensure that the product can be produced efficiently and at a competitive price.

8.              Integration with ERP solution

Benefits from an integrated PLM-ERP solution.  Benefits include centralized Materials Management, Vendor Management, Material Costs, BOM Interchange, Inventory visibility, Notifications for inventory changes, production delays, etc.

9.              2D/3D CAD Solutions

The 2D and 3D Pattern Development Tools are used in the development of patterns, grades, markers and 3D digital products.  3D virtual models are used to develop accurate, better-fitting designs. CAD tools can be used to model the behavior of cloth and drape it in a virtual environment over a virtual human body.  A PLM solution supports the use of patternmaking and Computer Aided design by managing the product related metadata and the output files from these design systems.   Significant time savings during design is possible from using PLM-based libraries for efficient reuse of product CAD files and 2D/3D patterns.  Currently, apparel specific CAD companies have been tackling the 3-D Virtual fit problem. The leading patternmaking software vendors have developed 3-D mannequins so a virtual garment can be draped on a precisely measured human model.

10.           Minimize Import Tariffs and Taxes

An import Tariff is a Duty or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders. The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) provides duty rates for virtually every existing item. CBP uses the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUS), which is a reference manual that provides the applicable tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the U.S.  Each article has a specific duty rate, which is determined by a number of factors, including where you acquired the article, where it was made, and what it is made of.

PLM can be used to manage the information needed to identify the applicable HTS code for a product while it still under development.  Early identification of HTS codes can influence subtle design choices, which can lead to significant savings.  PLM is also excellent at managing vendors and sources of supply.  PLM can be used to optimize supply choices based on duty rates imposed based on the country of origin.  Many North American retail and consumer goods companies pay annual tariffs in excess of $100,000 and many firms this is well beyond $1,000,000 each year.  Savings in this area can help justify the expense of implementing PLM.

Get more value out of your PLM system by implementing one or more of these PLM initiatives!

If you are planning to implement any of these 10 initiatives and are seeking expert advice, please feel free to reach out to Zweave directly and read the whitepaper that highlights the 15 reasons to choose Zweave for your next PLM implementation project.

15 reasons for choosing Zweave - PLM for Apparel Industry

 

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PLM for Apparel Industry is a MUST-HAVE. Find out why! https://zweave.com/2014/07/plm-for-apparel-industry-is-must-have/ Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:00:12 +0000 http://zweave.com/?p=2117 PLM for Apparel Industry is a Strategic Imperative to Remain Competitive Last month, trade magazine Apparel published its ninth annual report on PLM for apparel industry and the benefits of using PLM technology.  Produced in collaboration with IT research firm Gartner, Inc. and based on data from their annual surveys of apparel retailers and manufacturers, these reports offer […]

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PLM for Apparel Industry is a Strategic Imperative to Remain Competitive

Last month, trade magazine Apparel published its ninth annual report on PLM for apparel industry and the benefits of using PLM technology.  Produced in collaboration with IT research firm Gartner, Inc. and based on data from their annual surveys of apparel retailers and manufacturers, these reports offer tremendous insight into the proven benefits of PLM for apparel industry.

product portfolio management is a must have for the apparel industry

As reported in the June 2014 issue of Apparel, this year’s survey reveals the following about the impact of PLM in apparel manufacturers:

  • 38% have reduced product development time
  • 19% have improved overall margin
  • 29% have reduced total lead time
  • 24% have achieved faster time to market
  • 29% have reduced inventory
  • 14% have seen other improvements to the bottom line

The 2014 survey also indicates that 50% of apparel companies plan to make further investments in PLM.  Of that group, 78% intend to act within the next 6-18 months.

Further evidence of the growing use of PLM by apparel companies is depicted in the compelling infogram “PLM for Retailers”, posted earlier this year by manufacturing technology solutions provider PTC.

In addition to retailer-specific data, PTC’s infogram also presents the following statistics for the apparel industry’s retail and manufacturing companies:

  • 45% of apparel companies have already implemented PLM
  • 18% of apparel companies plan to implement PLM by mid-2015
  • Among those planning to implement PLM, 43% expect to purchase a packaged application from a software vendor.

Why is PLM a competitive necessity in today’s apparel manufacturing industry?  The answer comes from understanding PLM’s capabilities and its potential impact on your business:

  1. PLM facilitates efficient collaboration among all stakeholders through all phases of product design and development, leading to faster product cycle times and reduced time to market.
  2. PLM provides a single, shared source of product data, enabling real-time updates and eliminating communication lags, data inconsistencies, and the need for data duplication and distribution.
  3. PLM manages the requirements for domestic and international regulatory compliance, ensuring that products and manufacturing processes meet or exceed increasingly complex guidelines for product safety, worker protection, environmental safeguards, etc.
  4. PLM increases the visibility of product development cost components and resource allocations, enabling management to make adjustments and reduce costs as needed.
  5. PLM provides automated and fully-integrated support for:
    • Seasonal calendar management
    • Product ideation and design
    • Merchandising and line planning
    • Color definition
    • Materials designation and testing
    • Product specification management and change tracking
    • Sample management
    • Supply chain management
    • Product sourcing
    • Cost modeling
    • Quality control

When considered together, PLM’s tangible benefits and growing user base should serve as a wake-up call for the 55% of apparel manufacturers who have not yet implemented an automated PLM solution!

If your business is ready for PLM, we recommend that you utilize a PLM software package tailored to the needs of apparel manufacturers and work with an experienced PLM specialist to define functional requirements, configure your customized system, and train users.

For additional information on how Zweave assists companies in the apparel industry with all aspects of PLM system implementation, please download our whitepaper 15 Reasons to Choose Zweave for Your PLM Project.

15 reasons for choosing Zweave - PLM for Apparel Industry

 

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Do You Need an Online Product Portfolio Management Solution? https://zweave.com/2014/07/need-online-product-portfolio-management-solution/ Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:00:33 +0000 http://zweave.com/?p=2017   A comprehensive, web-based solution for product portfolio management is essential for meeting consumer demand in today’s fast-paced retail environment.   After identification of emerging trends, the key challenge for manufacturers is to deliver the right products in time to satisfy consumer demand without compromising product quality or profitability.  An automated, real-time platform for tracking and […]

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A comprehensive, web-based solution for product portfolio management is essential for meeting consumer demand in today’s fast-paced retail environment.   After identification of emerging trends, the key challenge for manufacturers is to deliver the right products in time to satisfy consumer demand without compromising product quality or profitability.  An automated, real-time platform for tracking and sharing product merchandising and line planning data provides a foundation for the informed yet agile decision-making required for success in today’s retail space.

What are the most significant benefits of implementing an online solution for product portfolio management?

    1. Product Portfolio Management Line PlanOnline product portfolio management tools provide flexible views of pertinent design, development, and production data across the full spectrum of your company’s new and existing products.  These ad hoc data views facilitate fact-based decisions regarding which products should move forward and which products should be eliminated.
    2. An online product portfolio management platform brings all your product data together in one place, providing a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) and guaranteeing that all stakeholders have access to the same, up-to-date information at all times.
    3. Product innovation and development become more visible when product portfolio management is brought online.  Greater visibility raises awareness of product development costs and resource allocations; equally important, it encourages collaboration among product development teams and suppliers during all phases of product design and materials sourcing.  Ultimately, increased visibility fosters communication efficiencies that lead to improvements in product development performance and net reductions in cycle times.

Merchandising and line planning efforts become more collaborative, streamlined, and efficient through implementation of an online product portfolio management solution.

When fully integrated, online product portfolio management offers support across all aspects of product planning and development.  A few examples of key activities include:

    • Optimizing the product mix for upcoming selling seasons based on current and forecasted market trends as well as past product performance
    • Setting targets for selling prices, production costs, and margin
    • Tracking design specifications for multiple products that will eventually be included in or dropped from each line
    • Tracking product measurements, materials, colors, construction, etc.
    • Making late additions, drops, and revisions to the line in response to changing market needs
    • Tracking costs across all products and all distribution channels

product portfolio management merchandise plan

An online product portfolio management solution enables your merchandising and line planning teams to work together more effectively to deliver in-demand products on time and within budget.   How?  By promoting multi-level sharing of product design specifications, a collaborative review and revision process, and the use of objective decision criteria for product approvals.

Do you need an online product portfolio management solution?  The answer is an unequivocal YES!

Here’s why:

    • To encourage and facilitate collaboration among all stakeholders
    • To maximize your return on investments in new product development
    • To respond to market trends on a timely basis
    • To allocate product development resources most effectively
    • To increase the visibility of product development costs and progress
    • To record and share product design specifications
    • To track and communicate product design changes in real time
    • To inform decisions on product inclusion or elimination
    • To maintain your competitive edge

Online product portfolio management is an integral part of an effective Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.  To learn how your company’s product development requirements align with PLM, download our whitepaper that explains the twelve most important considerations for selecting a PLM system.

dozen technical considerations when choosing a PLM System

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