Welcome to WhichPLM's Customer Survey: 7th Edition (Part Three)
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 (3 of 3) will take around 20 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)

 
Customer Relations & Partnerships

Although the cost implications of vendor services have reduced, there is nevertheless a need during any implementation (and certainly post-implementation) for support and ongoing engagement between customer and vendor.  Unfortunately, this relationship is not always mutually beneficial, and previous surveys have revealed frustrations on the part of customers who have been unable to obtain experience support in their timezone.  This issue will, we expect, become compounded in the very near future as more brands and retailers move to extend their implementations throughout their global supply chains, creating further requirements for global and regional support.

 
Does your supplier offer a support service that covers all time zones within your supply chain, on a 24/7 basis?


 
How would you class your supplier’s support service? Does your supplier offer a support service that fully understands your configured or customised implementation, and has done so from the point of go-live? Please select all answers that apply.


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

 
If your implementation was handled via a third party, who now manages your ongoing support?


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

 
How satisfied were you with the technical support provided by your PLM supplier and/or third party implementer over the last twelve months?


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

 
Does your PLM supplier have a clear documented process and policy in place to enable you and other fellow customers to suggest NPI (New Process Introductions) and enhancements to the solution?


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

 
What mechanism(s) does your supplier have in place for taking on board your recommendations?


 
The Short-Term Future 

Everywhere from the cottonfields to the offices of the C-suite, the idea of what it means to work and to be human are being challenged by AI and automation.  

Can a machine, given the right data sets, predict next year’s trends? Can a non-human intelligence create style?  Or, more immediately, can your business respond when an AI, fed real-time information, identifies new trend, material, or product opportunities in new and existing markets?

 
Central to the transformation of our industry is the currency of data.

The following questions centre on emerging (or indeed already emerged) trends including data intelligence, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), 3D, and the IoT.

 
Does your current PLM solution offer any of the following Corporate Social Responsibility capabilities (please tick those covered and provide additional detail on which capabilities you are using):


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

 
Is there a marketing module within your supplier’s current PLM solution offering, including any of the following (please tick those covered and provide additional information on those capabilities you are currently using):


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

 
Does your current PLM platform feature a fully-integrated bi-directional apparel 3D module?


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

 
If so, does your PLM solution have the ability to work with other enterprise-wide 3D solutions that support the following (please tick all that apply, and provide additional detail on the functionality you are currently using):


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

 
Does your 3D module enable you to use the following shared libraries (please tick all that apply):


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

 
Does your 3D module offer a full 3D in-store visualisation system (i.e. using virtual reality)?


 
Does your 3D module enable sample prototypes (trims and components) to be outputted to a 3D printer and/or digital fabric printer?


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

 
WhichPLM believes that the IoT is one of the most disruptive technologies to enter our industry in recent years. If you are a retailer or brand how would you rate the following in terms of importance (5 being of high importance and 1 being of low):

 
The ability for your ERP system (capturing sales data) to share data with your merchandise planning system in real-time.

 
Technical specification data and images to flow into the front-end retailer/brand to support augmented reality, by overlaying data on products and/or a virtual mirrors within the fitting room.

 
Information to trigger from PLM to the marketing teams in an automatic way (i.e. once a native image is approved, upon saving, the system converts the image into multiple formats which can be used for e-commerce, marketing collateral, supply chain partners etc.)

 
The ability to utilise data from PLM or 3D during a fit session so the data can be overlaid (augmented) on the fit model, to present ‘how to measure guides’ or provide more details on material & trims etc.

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

 
If you are manufacturer, how would you rate the following in terms of importance (5 being of high importance and 1 being of low):

 
The ability for the PLM system to support automatic (push & pull) triggered notifications and commands coming from creative design systems - including 2D, knitting, weaving, packages - that supply data on approved products directly back into PLM with their current lifecycle status.

 
As above the ability for 2D CAD pattern systems that on completion of an approved 2D pattern, would automatically update PLM on its current lifecycle status and would then use a push command to drive the next process (e.g. automatically instructing the marker maker, to proceed with marker making / lay planning).

 
A material inspection machine that could automatically record quality defects in the roll and share these with the spreaders, cutting teams and quality control teams.

 
The ability for material information (width, length, utilisation etc.) to be fed to a spreading machine upon approval/completion of the marker/layplan.

 
Automatic notification of material types, cut plans, cutting parameters and production data feeds to be shared with the cutting machine when the material spread is ready for cutting. Cutting machines (on completion of style and quantity) to also share (actual cut data) details back to PLM to monitor tracking/visibility of a given product’s stage/status in the production process.

 
The ability of PLM to support human resource and capacity planning in both retail stores and across the extended supply-chain e.g. manufacturing.

 
The ability of PLM to track products from concept to consumer.

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

WhichPLM would like to thank you for your time. 

The WhichPLM Report: 7th Edition is scheduled for publication in September 2017.
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