• September 19, 2018

Is Retail Product Lifecycle Management (Retail PLM) Obsolete?

  • By admin

Written By Mark Hudson, September 18th, 2018

The retail industry has been undergoing significant transformation driven by newly developed technologies, designed to help retailers adapt to the constantly evolving consumer trends. Product Lifecycle Management (Retail PLM) is a common solution considered by the retail industry, which is a workflow solution, designed to assist a retailers in the development of private label products. Retail PLM combines mechanical, electrical, and software engineering with the use of computer aided design programs that can generate large amounts of data, used to further optimize private label product development. However, the rigid structure of these heavily upfront design systems that were created in 1985, have lagged behind the actual needs of today’s retail industry.

Legacy Retail PLM Solutions

Legacy PLM solutions are based on the traditional retail business models, coined, “the product lifecycle”, of which retailers communicate and collaborate internally about new product concepts and are able to

see these concepts through their eventual design. When the traditional Retail PLM solutions were created, retail “private label” was relatively new and legacy PLM solutions fit perfectly for the enablement of faster concept to design for the small scale private label operation. However, fast forward to today’s world, what we are seeing is huge expansion for retail private label – over 50% market share in parts of Europe, over 20% market share in the United States. Today’s retail industry sees private label product development as their ticket to not only keep and grow their customer base but, also their profits.

True Concept to Delivery Lifecycle Solutions 

The retail industry and its beloved private label has evolved a great deal since the 1980’s and with these advancements, spawned new technologies for the product lifecycle. These advancements cover concept to design, much like the original retail PLM solutions but, the latest innovations also go much deeper coving all needs in the retail “end-to-end” product lifecycle process. Legacy PLM solutions stop at a certain point very early in the product lifecycle but, few actually go through to product delivery stage, covering all of the sourcing, quotes, samples, quality assurance, supplier management and supply chain stops along the way.

Buyer Beware

True end-to-end (concept to delivery) product lifecycle management solutions can be hard to find due to the nature of the legacy software business. Legacy software companies who built their business on PLM solutions have added new features/functions and integrated other legacy software pieces over the years, which, consist of a mix of individual pieces, resulted from years of development, meaning they are fragmented, mask weaknesses and give the appearance of an end-to-end solution. These pieces on top of pieces are attached to each other initially showing an acceptable answer to the complicated retail product lifecycle process but, this does not mean these pieces are work well together, which will have a negative impact on the communication and collaboration that the system can offer.

Do Concept to Delivery Solutions Really Exist?

End-to-End, concept to delivery solutions do exist and are flexible, upgradable, large scale, user-friendly, SaaS platforms that can offer management of large amounts of data, spanning across multiple retail teams and ultimately bridging the gaps within the end-to-end product lifecycle process. Unlike legacy PLM solutions which were initially designed to cover multiple industries (Automotive, Aerospace, Retail, Appeal, Footwear, Heavy Machinery etc.), today’s innovative solutions were uniquely designed to cover a single industry’s unique challenges and be a long term answer to a specific industry, which has always been driving force behind the development of the CBX cloud platform.

To learn more about concept to delivery product lifecycle management (retail PLM), combined with retail sourcing, quality assurance, supplier management and supply chain management (SCM) tools visit us @ CBX Software or Contact Us and for continued updates and insights follow CBX on LinkedIn.

Written By Mark Hudson September 18, 2018
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