THE FREEDOM TO DESIGN – THE SOPHISTICATION TO MANAGE
WHY FDM4 PLM
FDM4 PLM is specifically designed to manage the product development process from design to inclusion in the range; it uses sophisticated costing and critical path workflow engine to ensure on time, on budget products. With FDM4 PLM we have gone beyond the focus on development of a single design, to encompass the development of an entire range which simply represents a group of styles with a common goal, be that a show, photo shoot, or sales meeting. You can create a range calendar geared specifically to your ranges and events, with locked critical dates that are inherited by all the styles in the range.
With FDM4 PLM, management has facilities to visually overview the entire range position on a single screen, with problem areas immediately obvious using a traffic light paradigm. A similar overview is available to show where the bottleneck processes are in product development, so that work can be reassigned in order to get back on track. Beyond that, FDM4 PLM has features to analyze your ranges by any of the unlimited criteria and for any of these criteria in any combination, you can examine what proportion of the range each represents, as well as check the projected volumes, costs and margins.
One of several ways to get an overview of styles in development, the Style Summary shows a box for each style gives a thumbnail of the critical path status and has icons to dig deeper into the style with a single click. The layout of the Style Summary can be customized for each user, and the styles arranged for either aesthetical or priority reasons.
At the heart of FDM4 PLM is the Style Manager function. This is a tabbed folder where authorized users can access all of the information associated to a style. Shown opposite is the “Main” tab where the categorization of the style (at the top), thumbnail image, and “unlimited” style attributes are held. Further tabs are available for notes and images, colors and sizes, grading tables and fit sessions, care labels, and lab tests, bills of material and labor, costing cards, critical path, quotation management, quality control and version history.
Critical Path is at the core of our offering, it coordinates all the other product development activities. The Critical Path management tool is designed to ensure that all activities are completed in a timely fashion, and each activity is the responsibility of an individual or partner organization. Critical Paths can be viewed individually as in this example, or presented as representations of entire sections of the range in a variety of different formats: by activity, by responsibility, by team etc.
NOTES, PICTURE & ATTACHMENTS
FDM4 PLM is the repository for all documents associated with a style’s development. The system can hold not only drawings, diagrams and photos, but also any other type of document that may be relevant, including incoming fax images, catwalk or manufacturing video, audio clips, and office documents. You can define some structure to the attachments by creating named sections to hold different types of documents, and then uploading the attachments into the right section. Notes can be attached to any of the images or attachments, in either structured or unstructured formats. Facilities exist to create your own forms and attach them to styles, using flexible notes templates.
SAMPLING & FIT SESSIONS
FDM4 PLM can issue instructions to make samples and prototypes, of single sizes or indeed a fully graded set. FMD4 PLM has the ability to record actual measurements against any number of pre-defined fit session types (for example, Proto, Red Seal, Gold Seal). Once the garments have been received, they can be measured and compared against the style standard grading table measurements and tolerances, where any variations will be highlighted. Feedback can be given to the supplier, further examples ordered and a full history is kept within FDM4 PLM.
Costing comparison by source and destination. If your business is potentially purchasing the style from more than one supplier and/or shipping the style to more than one destination, this program allows immediate comparisons of the landed cost to one or many ultimate destinations. Using costing tables within the application for elements such as freight, duty and quota, the program can immediately calculate the best place to source and land the style, as well as indicate suggested RRPs for destination markets. Flexible costing formats may be created, and styles released to multiple suppliers for costing. You can even use different costing bases, such as one supplier costing on a CMT basis and another fully factored.
When we ask companies how they manage their Product Development processes, the most common tool being used is Microsoft Excel. For this reason, we developed a Merchandiser Report layout that closely mimics a spreadsheet. The merchandiser can select and filter the details shown as you can with a report generator, but there are two additional benefits: firstly, the information shown in the browser is completely real-time; and secondly, changes to costs, critical path dates, style attributes, for example, can be made in the spreadsheet view and immediately update the database.
FDM4 PLM has been conceived and designed as a web-based system and can be accessed 24 hours a day on PCs, Macs and Linux clients. It is developed in English and we provide the tools to translate into any language you like—including Chinese. This also means that FDM4 PLM can be fully personalized for your corporate terminology.