Technology Guide for Fashion Companies

Whether adding a work-from-home section to a closet, upgrading outdoor footwear and gear, or adding some life to a wardrobe, we are seeing a shift in people’s buying habits.

To meet today’s market challenges and prepare for future market disruptions, digital transformation is in order. What this looks like for your company depends on your business goals. You may want to get closer to the customer, enhance creativity, speed up product development or collaborate seamlessly with your vendors and teams.

But how do you decide which technology will have the most positive impact on your business? It’s a sea of jargon and confusing acronyms out there and when you’re putting out fires and dealing with backlogs and communication hiccups, it’s hard to find time to research the big picture. Let’s explore some options…

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What the tech are you talking about?

It's easy to get lost in the acronyms. Enterprise solutions were created to receive, manage and distribute different kinds of data to people or other systems. Over time, various enterprise systems emerged to serve the data needs of different processes or end users. Cut through the “tech speak” and better understand the different types of enterprise systems most commonly found in the fashion industry. Here are the basics…


Master Data Management – an overarching enterprise system that structures all of a company’s data.


Enterprise Resource Planning – manages purchase orders, vendor databases, payroll, benefits, project and resource planning, tracks inventory, movement, location and sales.


Product Information Management – houses and distributes product information that is needed to sell products to the final consumer—it is less detailed than most internal product data.


Digital Asset Management – a system used for controlling the flow of rich media content, such as photos and videos.


Product Data Management - created in the 1990s to house product development data and images for tech packs.


Product Lifecycle Management – evolution of PDM. A central repository for all product data with robust software features.

Get the full definitions and more in the Technology Guide for Home and Home Furnishings here.

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What is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)?

PLM empowers creativity and brings structure to fashion companies. It drives all product-related activities starting with ideation and merchandise planning, through to product development, quality management and (almost) everything in between. Using fashion PLM software, fashion brands and fashion retailers of all sizes manage all product data with a ‘single version of the truth’ to keep up with global trends and changing consumer expectations, saving time and money.

If you are not using PLM or your PLM is outdated, you could be facing the following challenges:

  • Keeping track of all product information including styles, sizes, colors and materials.
  • Spending far too much money on samples and unnecessary materials.
  • Teams working in different locations, countries and time zones without access to a central data repository or central data collaboration tool.
  • People using a patchwork of software like Excel, email, dropbox, PowerPoint generally leads to chaos with wrong, missing and duplicate information.
  • Wasting time waiting for information to be transferred from one data silo to another, delays in sample shipments, travel time for in-person meetings, and inaccurate orders based on incomplete tech packs.

With PLM in place, companies can automate and shorten product development and sourcing timelines by centralizing all sourcing and buying information in one easily shareable, digital location. This reduces time wasted searching for product related information and drastically cuts errors in duplicated manual data, which increases productivity, drives down costs and reduces time to market.

Want to learn more?

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