As a buyer, maintaining data and keeping an overview of documentation, tech packs, pricing, qualities and minimum order quantities (MOQ), is a process that requires a particularly strong alignment with designers and technicians. Without this alignment, costly production errors can occur due to misunderstandings caused by working with obsolete data.
However, brands can use PLM software to streamline the process. In this article, we will have a closer look at how buyers can improve their daily work through PLM systems.
PLM benefits for buyers:
- Alignment with designer and technicians
- Maintaining an overview of processes. pricing and MOQ
- Traceability: Comments, changes, certificates, manufacturers, etc.
Aligning buyers with designers and technicians
Sourcing and buying departments have the responsibility to source the right qualities and quantities at targeted prices and margins within strict deadlines. At times, a challenging task as designers and technicians continue to make product changes while buyers proceed with sourcing and price negotiation with manufacturers. Designers and technicians often make last-minute changes to tech packs, meaning that manufacturers are making price calculations based on obsolete product data creating errors in pricing and MOQ and potentially sampling delays, which might lead to increased development costs.
So, working with up to date tech packs is critical in order to decrease sourcing costs. Keeping buyers, designers, and technicians aligned, can essentially reduce misunderstandings, sourcing errors and delays and ultimately improve time to market.
A way to align the parties is by implementing PLM software. This way, buyers, designers and technicians are able to always work with the latest changes in tech packs, pricing and MOQ. A PLM system provides a collaborative platform where all stakeholders in product development work with the latest information.
Buyers benefit from PLM software by improving the ability to meet strict deadlines, source the right fabrics, quantities, at the right target pricing, margins, MOQ and deliver all this in time to support further development processes.
Maintaining the overview
Maintaining an overview of information such as tech packs, pricing, MOQ, comments, agreements and other information in email, WhatsApp messages, Excel sheets, file attachments, and meetings notes, can be a demanding task where misunderstandings and errors can easily occur. At the same time sourcing has to be performed within limited timelines making it increasingly important to have a structured process that provides overview of all data and activities.
When price negotiations are handled through email, Excel sheet attachments, and physical meetings, negotiations may not be based on the latest comments and tech packs, which can result in wrong price calculation and MOQ.
With PLM, buyers are able to work with a single source of truth that makes it possible for stakeholders to always work with real-time tech packs. Buyers will gain a process overview and a database for all the information they have to manage. With accurate data and overviews, it will be easier to meet deadlines, improve margins through better pricing, and accelerate time to market by minimizing delays and errors in production.
When tech packs are created in Excel and certificates, pricing, comments and information from manufacturers is shared through email, WeTransfer and Dropbox, keeping an overview of all the data is a complicated task. As a result, it is difficult or even impossible for buyers to backtrack errors, and solve the problems to avoid slowing down further development processes.
Working in various systems means that information is scattered, which makes data sharing and accessibility complicated. A process that hinders traceability and transparency at large.
With PLM, buyers have all information gathered in one system that tracks changes, also making it easier to trace products and find the applicable certificates, qualities, etc. This way PLM software will also play a part in the brands’ overall ability to be sustainable through a transparent sourcing process, where all data and processes are easily traceable.
It is rapidly important that buyers, designers and technicians are aligned in the sourcing process in order to avoid working with obsolete data, which can lead to costly procurement mistakes e.g. the right prices and MOQ.
Misunderstandings and errors can ultimately lead to delays in the further development process, so it is important that sourcing and buying can easily access real-time information as they have the responsibility to source the specified materials, quantities, and qualities at the targeted prices.
PLM systems provide the platform for buyers and designers to streamline their processes and minimize costly errors in sourcing. By working collaboratively in a single source of truth, the sourcing becomes more efficient leading the following development processes to be even faster.