Welcome to WhichPLM's Customer Survey: 7th Edition (Part One)
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.
In September 2017 WhichPLM will publish our '7th Edition’. As with the 5th and 6th Editions (in 2015 and 2016, respectively) this report follows a similar format to our previous ‘Annual Reviews’, but with each successive edition including a new, topical section. For 2015, this section was on 3D; for 2016 it was on the 'Internet of Things'.

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.

With a focus on the rapidly-emerging disciplines of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), this publication will look at how automated data collection, analysis, and subsequent automatic action have already irreversibly changed many industries - and how they will, sooner rather than later, do the same for fashion and retail.

This does not, however, mean that our core focus is shifting away from core RFA PLM. This 7th Edition will include several exclusive features examining PLM’s place in the modern enterprise, and our market analysis will be exclusively focused on core PLM adoption, as with previous years.

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 (1 of 3) will take around 8 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)

Project Research & Preparation

With more than 40 vendors claiming to offer one form or another of PLM for retail, footwear and apparel, the scope of PLM in the enterprise has evolved and as a result, the role of the modern PLM project team has changed dramatically.  When we first began collecting customer feedback, a PLM project was widely considered to be an I.T.-driven initiative, on a par with selecting, for example, a new CRM or ERP solution.  Today, project teams are tasked with assessing everything from the technical performance to the cultural suitability of more vendors than ever before – something that requires an intimate understanding of their own business’s unique challenges, business processes and corporate culture.

The importance of conducting a thorough, scientific return on investment (ROI) analysis prior to beginning a PLM implementation has been underscored by the volume of respondents to our previous surveys. The role of a modern project team is to make a compelling business case – supported by informed ROI predictions – for the value that can be achieved through a PLM implementation.  Where they lack the time or the experience to calculate these predictions in-house, a project team should employ the services of an experienced third party to assist in both quantifying potential benefits and avoiding common pitfalls that may undermine project success in financial and practical terms.

Experience shows that often PLM project teams are hastily put together, without consideration given to their role.  In recognition of the complexity of modern PLM projects, do you feel your team was equipped with the necessary knowledge of the true nature and scope of a PLM project prior to beginning shortlisting and selection?

Did you conduct an in-depth analysis of your current business processes and associated challenges prior to implementing a PLM solution?

Did your business tailor its Request For Information (RFI/RFP) questionnaires according to the unique challenges and processes your project team had identified?

WhichPLM believes (and five years’ worth of data supports the conclusion) that it is critical for prospective PLM customers to conduct reference site visits before making a final PLM purchasing decision. Did you conduct any of the following before you made your decision?  Please select all that apply:

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

Did you complete a thorough, scientific Return On Investment (ROI) analysis in advance of your implementation?

Did you use that ROI analysis to define your implementation strategy?

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

Did you conduct this analysis in-house, did you use a third-party ROI tool (such as an ROI calculator), and/or did you employ the services of a consultant or advisor?  Please select all that apply.

Did you use any third-party consultants or advisers to help you plan your implementation beyond the ROI level?

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

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

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