How Can Retailers Benefit from PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)?

How Can Retailers Benefit from PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)?

PLM has been adding value to retailers across countries, and the industry was valued at $25.93 billion in 2020. With more retailers relying on PLM to reduce their bottom-line, the sector is likely to expand at the rate of 7.2% over the next few years. There are many stages in the PLM process used in various ways by different industries. 

A product's life cycle includes development, introduction, growth, stability and decline. The importance of PLM for retailers can't be stressed enough as it ensures that the product handling at each of these stages is done so that more time is spent on marketing as manufacturing efforts reduce. Here are the top reasons why it is crucial to retailers. 

Better Visibility Through Removal of Information Silos

When your retail business needs cross-functional teams to collaborate from different locations, there can be a lack of information sharing, damaging the supply chain. A well-implemented PLM system can help eliminate these information silos and make them visible to all stakeholders.

Visibility brings with it better decision-making capabilities. It also helps sync the calendars across locations so that your team does not miss a single event.

Early Warnings Mitigate Risk

With customers more demanding, suppliers having stricter conditions and many private-label products, retailers can get stuck in an information rut. It becomes challenging to keep track of multiple documents such as cost sheets, invoices, product trackers and supplier scorecards.

Eliminating risk can make a substantial difference in your business practices. A PLM system can help arrange all such information more systematically and in one place. All the information relating to a particular product is displayed at a click of a button, saving you valuable time. 

Proactive Business Processes

Retailers used to follow reactive businesses practices on a day-to-day basis. They would react when delivery was delayed rather than keep track of the supplier schedule, costs etc. By using PLM techniques, retailers can be on top of everything from tracking shipments to negotiating prices. Armed with information, they can make more strategic decisions to grow the business instead of dealing with the daily grind.

Keep Up with Changing Trends

The present-day customer wants trending products, a wide variety, eco-friendly, ethical manufacturing and all these at competitive prices. It means that you, as a retailer, need to rotate stock every few weeks instead of months.

Enter private brands, and the need to re-stock becomes even more critical. While big retailers are well positioned, financially, to source and maintain private brands, smaller retailers aren't. A PLM system can help you better source private brands and get competitive prices.

Analytics for Better Decision Making

With all that information stored in one place, you can also generate various analytical reports that allow you to make strategic business decisions that help grow your business. You can have better control over inventory, manage suppliers efficiently, avoid rework and reduce scrappage. You can optimise your business processes to ensure reduced cost and higher productivity.

Sustainable Supply Chain

Retail echoes with the whispers of sustainability. A Nielsen survey reports that baby boomers and millennials are likely to switch their products for sustainable ones. The report also indicated that 66% of customers would spend more on sustainable development.

When you incorporate sustainable business practices, you can make long-term investments. Right from sourcing to advertising, PLM allows you to incorporate sustainable practices.

Creating a robust retail chain requires excellent products and efficient PLM. The significance of PLM for retailers can't be overlooked at any point as it brings with it the above advantages and many more. You can turn your retail business into an empire with streamlined and efficient processes.