Why Integrate ERP and PLM in the Cloud?

Why Integrate ERP and PLM in the Cloud?

The apparel industry moves at a rapid pace. From product design to inventory management, you rely on your product lifecycle management (PLM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to keep your business efficient.

In the last decade or so, more companies have integrated their PLM and ERP platforms onto a single solution. Now, cloud computing offers significant benefits to help apparel manufacturers and distributors gain a competitive advantage. An integrated ERP and PLM system in the cloud provides a scalable, secure solution to increase productivity and optimize the supply chain.

What Is PLM in Manufacturing?

Manufacturing operations start with PLM, or the process of managing products from idea generation and design to manufacturing and disposal. A PLM system gathers data and information on the product components. As a result, your company can oversee product development processes more efficiently.

What Is ERP in Manufacturing?

Complementary to PLM, ERP focuses on the supply chain’s physical assets and materials. ERP software collects, organizes and analyzes data for production scheduling, inventory management, pricing and distribution logistics. In this way, companies can automate complex operational processes to reduce costs and boost business intelligence.

Three Key Benefits of Integrating ERP and PLM for Manufacturing

For too long, ERP and PLM have remained asynchronous, requiring manual data entry into two separate platforms. Without PLM, for example, ERP often struggles to organize product records accurately. A successful PLM and ERP integration increases each solution’s benefits and capabilities.

When you bring together PLM and ERP processes, your enterprise can reap many benefits, including:

1. Fully Aligned Processes

Design changes in the PLM are linked to corresponding work orders, communications and inventory edits in ERP — no extra data entry required. Supply chain processes that were split between PLM and ERP are now connected. When it comes to making decisions and planning future projects, both assets are aligned, delivering a comprehensive perspective on the product lifecycle.

2. Reduced Errors

Technical incompatibility between PLM and ERP systems can cause a loss in employee productivity and data accuracy. For example, a bill of materials in the PLM may not be compatible with the ERP. As a result, reducing the number of product attributes could negatively impact your data integrity and ability to pull accurate reports. An integrated system reduces or eliminates manual steps, boosting your speed and efficiency.

3. Real-Time Data and Information

At each stage of the supply chain, manufacturers must pull data from both PLM and ERP systems. But imagine if you could access standardized, real-time information on a single platform. With complete access to data that is continuously updated and synced, you can develop innovative products faster, with complete visibility into operations.

Top Four Reasons to Integrate ERP and PLM in the Cloud

The value of an integrated PLM-ERP system significantly increases when you combine it with cloud computing. An Internet-based ERP and PLM platform enables greater flexibility and efficiency than other software systems. Bringing together design, product, customer and financial data in the cloud helps enterprises achieve faster, more successful product development.

Here’s how an integrated, cloud-based PLM-ERP solution can transform manufacturing supply chains:

1. Future-Proof and Scalable

Your apparel business grows every day. With a cloud infrastructure, manufacturers have the freedom and elasticity to scale up based on future growth. The cloud offers high-performance, on-demand storage and databases to meet your PLM and ERP needs.

2. Quick Implementation

Cloud-based PLM and ERP software means there’s no need to invest in expensive hardware. You can get up and running quickly without devoting IT resources to implementation and hardware maintenance. With the cloud, IT management and issue resolution can be outsourced, saving your employees time.

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3. Stay Current and Customize as Needed

As cloud infrastructure improves, it’s easy to stay up-to-date on the latest features and upgrades. On-premise ERP and PLM solutions may offer modern capabilities today, but they are challenging to update as the times change. Plus, the cloud provides flexibility to customize your software as you see fit.

4. Security and Identity

An integrated PLM-ERP solution in the cloud is one of the safest ways to create and store manufacturing data. You have controlled access and visibility into all resources and information hosted on the system. Plus, you can securely extend functionality to partners based on specific permission levels.

Streamline ERP and PLM Processes With an Integrated Cloud Solution

Are you ready to choose the cloud for your apparel business? FDM4 is in the business of helping companies grow exponentially through robust, industry-specific software, built to simplify operations and increase the speed of innovation.

When you partner with FDM4, you’ll have access to both turn-key and fully customizable solutions to meet your company’s specific needs. Contact us now for a consultation!