Five Ways to Boost Supply Chain Agility With ERP and PLM

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Five Ways to Boost Supply Chain Agility With ERP and PLM

In today’s fast-paced apparel marketplace, consumers demand perfection — they want products to be trendy, well-priced and available immediately. For apparel manufacturers and distributors, satisfying the modern-day customer starts with optimizing the supply chain for greater efficiency.

Within the last decade, more enterprises have recognized the benefits of integrating product lifecycle management (PLM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) to boost supply chain agility. First, PLM manages product development processes, including idea generation, design, and manufacturing, in the most cost-effective way. Then, ERP oversees the supply chain, from inventory and shipping to pricing and payments, to reduce costs and improve efficiency with standardized information sharing. Data flows continuously between the two systems, so manufacturers have the most up-to-date, real-time product data.

To meet the high demands of today’s consumers, ERP and PLM systems should be synchronous, aligned and complimentary — from the earliest design phase to the end of the product lifecycle.

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How Integrated PLM and ERP Can Help Streamline Your Supply Chain

Integrating PLM and ERP gives you complete access to cross-channel product information. This helps boost productivity, data integrity, revenue and supply chain efficiency, in ways that are not possible with separate solutions.

Here are the top five ways your business can improve supply chain agility with an integrated ERP and PLM platform:

1. Single Source of Truth

When combined, PLM and ERP collect product data across the supply chain in one platform, providing a single version of the truth. Re-entry errors are limited, and any new versions of documents and products evolve in parallel. This generates a higher level of efficiency — multiple departments no longer have to hunt down the latest version. Integration makes it easier to ensure ERP data accuracy and connect the data to any changes in product design. As a result, you enjoy enhanced supply chain efficiency and employee productivity.

2. Real-Time Data for Better Collaboration

With one source of truth, departments can share real-time data — no more disruptions to check data integrity or transfer data from PLM to ERP. Now, operations, finance and merchandising teams can view any product development phase, increasing collaboration and operational planning. For example, managers can ensure each line will sell at the allotted price point and that sampling is finalized within a given budget. Data and information are collected in one place, which teams leverage to make smarter, more cost-effective decisions.

3. Fully Transparent Product Development

The success or failure of a product lifecycle can often rely on transparency. Integrated PLM and ERP constantly transfer information back and forth, but that information is useless if manufacturing teams do not have all-inclusive access. With an integrated solution, managers can identify and fix weak areas in the supply chain, increasing the efficiency of a specific process. Fully transparent product lifecycles provide teams with a clear view into product development from start to finish. This way, inefficient processes can be corrected right away, boosting your supply chain agility.

4. Plan for Future Projects Effectively

ERP and PLM integrations can help you identify potential hazards and better plan for future projects. Information gaps and asynchronous software systems often create vulnerabilities in the supply chain, which can result in costly damages. Now, brands can compare styles currently under development in PLM with information about previous styles in ERP, for example. This insight helps manufacturers work smarter and prevent supply chain errors. With an integrated platform, you gain a big picture perspective on complex product lifecycles.

5. Achieve More With Less

PLM and ERP software work every day to ensure product development efficacy. However, you can optimize these separate platforms by bringing them together in one solution and boosting your enterprise’s agility. No need to invest in surplus software or additional tools. A single integrated solution can create tighter workflows, more streamlined product design strategy and a more efficient and effective supply chain.

Implement Leading-Edge PLM and ERP Software From FDM4

The first step to achieving greater supply chain agility is to choose the right PLM and ERP software for your enterprise. With 38 years in the business, FDM4 offers industry-specific software that integrates your entire organization, from concept to post-production. Our scalable, turn-key solutions help companies across the apparel industry increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage.

If you need a service provider that can customize robust software to your company’s specifications, FDM4 is at your service. Contact us today for a consultation or to request a live demo!