Welcome to WhichPLM's Customer Survey: 7th Edition (Part Two)
WhichPLM is an independent digital magazine dedicated to product development for the fashion industry. With a signature mix of news, reviews, interviews and opinion, it attracts a readership of the biggest names in retail, footwear and apparel from around the globe. Every year, we distribute our customer survey, in order to gain an accurate view of the current PLM marketplace.

For six years, WhichPLM has provided the industry with market intelligence, vendor listings, the results of an extensive PLM customer survey, and exclusive features all within our annual publications.
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WhichPLM's 7th Edition examines fashion’s transition to becoming a digital industry - in lockstep with a world that’s changing more quickly than ever before. Central to this transformation is the currency of data, and in a series of exclusive features (compiled from exclusive interviews with industry figures) our 7th Edition sets out to explore the critical difference between undifferentiated data and true intelligence, and to talk about how businesses can best understand the world around them.

 
This questionnaire is designed to allow project managers, buyers & merchandisers, designers, garment technicians, cost & sourcing managers or C-level executives the opportunity to, once again, provide their unvarnished opinion of how shortlisting, selecting and working with PLM operates on a day to day level. This is your chance, too, to make your mark on the future direction of PLM for retail, footwear, apparel and consumer packaged goods.

 
Although the following form asks for personal details, please note that responses will be collated and published anonymously so you should feel free to speak your mind about every aspect of your PLM experience that you are willing to share. 

These questionnaires have been split into sections for manageability. If a particular section or question does not apply to you, simply leave it blank and move on; our aim is to make the completion of this questionnaire as rapid as possible.

 
We anticipate this form (2 of 3) will take around 10 minutes to complete; we thank you for your time.

If you encounter any issues please contact our Editor, at lydia@whichplm.com

 
Your name *

 
Company name *

 
PLM solution in use *

 
Date implemented (if known)

 
Version number (if known)

 
Implementation – Workshops, Customisation & Quality

The scope of today’s PLM & 3D solutions would shock any industry figure working even a decade ago.  Extremely rapidly, PLM has evolved beyond simple web-enabled specification packs (Tech-Packs) to encompass the full scope of modern design & product development.  Design, sourcing, corporate social responsibility, compliance, materials management, marketing, business intelligence, 3D, and the IoT are all now components of what WhichPLM terms extended-PLM, which is rapidly becoming considered as the true backbone of apparel technology.

The sheer complexity and breadth of a modern PLM project means that PLM project teams have a great deal more to consider in their introspection and process analysis than ever before.

 
With the growth of the RFA PLM industry has come attempts to codify (boilerplate template) implementations – plans by vendors to conform all their projects to fit a set approach and method, and hence reduce project risk, rather than treating each new PLM project on its own merits and in line with the most fruitful sources of value.

Was your implementation drawn from a boilerplate template, or did your supplier tailor its method and milestones to address and prioritise those processes that offered the greater ROI potential in your particular case?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Today, the majority of PLM vendors advertise out-of-the-box, ready-to-deploy solutions, with the need for little or no customisation.  Whether you chose an out-of-the-box product or not, did you require any customisation to the solution you chose?  Please provide additional detail about the solution you chose.


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Was any customisation conducted on time and to budget?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
The rapid growth of the RFA PLM market is placing a great deal of strain on a very limited pool of highly skilled apparel PLM experts.  In your opinion, were the implementation team (whether internal or third party) deployed to serve your project fully qualified and experienced in both fashion and the technical and functional aspects of PLM?  Please tick only those answers that apply:


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Previous surveys have demonstrated a growing tendency for PLM vendors to contract their implementations out to third-party partners.  In your case, was the implementation handled in-house by a supplier team, or given to a third party implementer?  If the latter is true, who was that third party, and was the entire implementation handled by them, or as a joint initiative?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
If your supplier did contract your implementation out to a third party, do you believe they were suitably qualified for this task – well versed not only in the technology itself, but in the particulars of fashion-specific processes?  Please tick all answers that apply:


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Did your supplier and/or their third party implementation partner complete your overall implementation project on time and to budget?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
How was your PLM solution deployed?  On-premise (using your own servers) or via the cloud?


 
After implementation – Satisfaction

Tied closely to the need for effective ROI analysis – primarily financial in nature – is the requirement for retailers, brands and manufacturers to quantify the less concrete benefits of their PLM project.  The user experience and ongoing in-house and supply chain satisfaction with the chosen solution are vital when it comes to securing the adoption, continued use and ongoing value of an end to end PLM implementation.

This section examines these and other means of measuring PLM satisfaction that go beyond those that are typically considered by project teams and their executive sponsors.

 
When PLM first entered the retail, footwear and apparel industry, the majority of a typical project cost came from what we refer to as services (including configuration, training, implementation and customisation) rather than from the expense of purchasing the software licenses themselves. 

This is referred to as the software : services ratio – something that around the turn of the millennium would be expected at around 1 : 10.  Since that time, the ratio has begun to approach a kind of parity, and today typical project costs are far more evenly balanced between licensing and services. What was the ratio of software licencing to service costs for your project?


 
Following on from your initial introspection, ROI analysis and implementation, have you been able to quantify on a process-by-process basis the value that PLM has delivered to your business?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Has your PLM solution enabled you to achieve increased sales and revenue by allowing you to position your product launches more effectively and cut product lifecycle times?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Please rate the PLM solution you chose on its ease of use, and quality of the user experience averaged across all modules.  Are your users satisfied with their day-to-day working environment?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Please rate the PLM solution you chose on the basis of its speed, which might include refresh rates and the number of clicks required to navigate to commonly-used functionality.


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Considering the evolution that PLM has undergone since we first began collecting customer feedback, we expect its scope to broaden and deepen further in the near and longer-term future.  Through our close relationships with PLM vendors, we know that end user feedback factors heavily into their development roadmaps.  With that in mind, which of the following areas would you like to see vendors focus their efforts on?  If any specific functionality is particularly important to you, please let us know by providing additional information at the end of this question.


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
The unfortunate reality is that, for a variety of reasons, not all PLM projects reach completion.  In the case of your implementation, was the initial vision for your project realised, or was that goal tempered in some way?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Overall, how satisfied are you with the PLM solution and vendor you chose?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
Are you considering replacing or upgrading your present solution – even if it’s with a new version from the same vendor?


 
Please provide any additional detail you feel might benefit a prospective PLM customer.

 
You have reached the end of part two of this survey. Please submit your answers.

WhichPLM would like to thank you for your time.
If you would like to continue to part three of the survey, please click below.
Part three