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Be a savvy PLM customer

Be the savvy PLM customer…

How do you choose a PLM solution? What is the process?
Up until now, the selection process has been greatly influenced by PLM suppliers and external organizations heavily sponsored by suppliers. So what do you need when choosing a PLM solution? What are the essentials?

RFI Document

Typically, customers define their requirements by completing a ‘Request For Information’ (RFI) document. This document needs to go down to a level of detail that will help you to drive answers from the PLM solution suppliers. It’s vital that you should only focus on the key issues that you believe a) are critical and b) will help you to meet today’s business challenges and drive real benefits.

Avoid using an RFI supplied by one of your potential PLM suppliers. In many cases, these documents have been carefully designed to lock your business into their solution and lock their competition out of the running! To avoid the ‘RFI trap’ we have designed what I like to refer to as the ‘mother of all Apparel PLM RFIs’! With a 650+ list of questions designed to challenge PLM solution providers, this document will help you to weed out those suppliers that don’t fit your target objectives. We are now moving into our latest release (version 4), extending the list of questions to include: ethical, environmental and more detailed questions around the total cost of ownership (TCOO) using several levels of generic company requirement types based on small, medium and large enterprise quotations.

ROI Calculator

Now one tool you must have is an ROI (Return On Investment) Calculator. It’s a difficult process to define the value added from implementing PLM, due to the complexity and depth of the processes covered. However, due to our team’s many years of experience helping companies to justify their ROI, we have recently completed the latest version of the WhichPLM ROI Calculator, helping businesses to realise just what can be delivered from implementing a PLM solution or, worse, the cost of standing back and doing nothing!

Jargon Buster

Finally, PLM jargon and acronyms: there’s a new one for every day of the week, so to help you keep up with the latest PLM related terminologies, we have built the WhichPLM Jargon Buster tool. The tool is available from the WhichPLM Toolkit (link) and we would love to get your input, so if you have any jargon that needs explaining, send it to us at:

Mark Harrop

Mark Harrop is a leading Apparel PLM expert with more than 34 years experience in the industry. Mark co-founded the Product Development Partnership Ltd, the team of experts behind WhichPLM.

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