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Agile PLM: How Fashion Brands Can Benefit

At a Glance

What is Agile Methodology

What is Agile Fashion PLM

How Fashion & Apparel Brands Benefit from Agile Methodology

Tips for Fashion Brands Implementing Agile Principles 

Agile Fashion PLM: How Backbone Does it Better

Fashion brands need to embrace agile methodology because it allows them to quickly adapt to changing consumer preferences, streamline their design and production processes, and continuously improve their operations to remain competitive in a fast-paced industry.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile methodology is an approach to project management that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and responsiveness to change. Rather than planning out every aspect of a project in advance, agile projects are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks called iterations.

During each iteration, the project team works together to produce a working product or deliverable that can be tested and evaluated. This iterative process allows for frequent feedback and adjustments, enabling the team to quickly adapt to changing requirements and priorities.

Agile methodologies prioritize communication and collaboration, with team members working closely together and communicating regularly to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The approach values responding to change over following a strict plan, and encourages continuous improvement over a fixed end goal.

What is Agile Fashion PLM?

Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is software that enables fashion and apparel brands to manage their product development process in an agile way. Agile PLM for fashion and apparel brands provides a single platform for managing design, development, sourcing, and production processes, allowing teams to work collaboratively and efficiently.

Agile Fashion PLM is designed to support the iterative, fast-paced nature of the fashion industry by enabling teams to quickly create and share designs, track progress, and identify potential bottlenecks or issues. This type of software also provides tools for managing sourcing and supplier relationships, enabling brands to better manage their supply chain and respond quickly to changes in demand or unexpected disruptions.

Overall, agile PLM for fashion and apparel brands is a powerful tool for enabling agile product development and supply chain management in the fashion industry, helping brands to stay competitive and responsive to changing consumer needs and trends.

Related Article: 6 Ways Design Teams Increase Speed to Market with Fashion PLM

How Fashion & Apparel Brands Benefit from Agile Methodology

Overall, agile methodology is a flexible, collaborative, and responsive approach to project management that allows teams to quickly adapt to changing requirements and priorities, while continuously improving their workflows and products.

Agile methodology can be particularly beneficial for fashion and apparel brands due to the rapidly changing nature of design, development, and manufacturing processes across the industry. Here are a few ways modern brands can benefit from adopting agile principles into their workflows:

Faster time-to-market

In fashion, timing is critical. Trends and styles can change quickly, and being able to get products to market quickly can give brands a competitive edge. Agile methodology is well-suited to fast-paced environments, as it allows teams to deliver working products or features quickly and iterate as needed.

Flexibility

The fashion industry is known for its unpredictability, with sudden changes in demand, shifting consumer preferences, and unexpected supply chain disruptions. Agile methodology emphasizes flexibility and responsiveness to change, enabling teams to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and reprioritize tasks as needed.

Collaboration

Fashion brands often have large, cross-functional teams working together, including designers, merchandisers, buyers, marketers, and more. These departments are often siloed using legacy PLM systems or and software. Agile methodology prioritizes collaboration and communication between team members, facilitating cross-functional cooperation and helping to ensure that everyone is aligned on project goals and objectives.

Customer focus

The success of fashion brands often hinges on their ability to understand and respond to customer needs and preferences. Agile methodology emphasizes a customer-focused approach, with teams working closely with customers or stakeholders to gather feedback across the product lifecycle and adjust project plans as needed.

Continuous improvement 

In fashion, there is always room for improvement, whether it’s in product design, production processes, or supply chain management. Agile methodology encourages continuous improvement through regular feedback and retrospectives, enabling teams to learn from their mistakes and make incremental improvements over time.

Overall, agile methodology can help fashion and apparel brands to be more responsive, collaborative, and customer-focused while enabling them to deliver high-quality products quickly and continuously improve their processes and operations.

Related Article: Mitigating Supply Chain Risks

Tips for Fashion Brands Implementing Agile Principles

There are several ways that fashion and apparel brands can implement agile methodology into their current design, development, and production workflows:

Break down projects into smaller iterations

Agile methodology emphasizes breaking down projects into smaller, more manageable chunks. For fashion brands, this could mean breaking down a collection into smaller design or production phases or breaking down a supply chain optimization project into smaller, more specific initiatives.

Prioritize collaboration and communication

Agile methodology emphasizes collaboration and communication between team members, and fashion brands can implement this by promoting cross-functional teamwork and regular communication between designers, merchandisers, buyers, and other stakeholders.

Use data to inform decision-making

Agile methodology emphasizes a data-driven approach to decision-making, which can be particularly useful in the fashion industry. Brands can use data on consumer preferences, sales trends, and supply chain performance to inform product design and production decisions.

Conduct regular reviews and retrospectives

Agile methodology encourages regular reviews and retrospectives to assess progress and identify areas for improvement. Fashion brands can implement this by conducting post-collection reviews to assess product performance and identify areas for improvement, or by conducting supply chain retrospectives to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

Embrace flexibility and adaptability

Agile methodology emphasizes flexibility and adaptability, and fashion brands can implement this by building supply chain resilience ad flexibility into their operations, being willing to pivot in response to changing consumer trends, and prioritizing continuous improvement over rigid planning.

Related Article: Leveraging a PLM to Grow Your Fashion Startup

Agile Fashion PLM: How Backbone Does it Better

By adopting agile methodology, fashion and apparel brands can better respond to consumer trends, streamline their design and production processes, and improve collaboration and communication between teams.

Fashion brands need to embrace agile methodology because it allows them to quickly adapt to changing consumer preferences, streamline their design and production processes, and continuously improve their operations to remain competitive in a fast-paced industry.

A dynamic, cloud-based PLM solution will improve every aspect of design and development. Agile Fashion PLM software helps brands function and succeed in a very competitive digital climate by improving quality, speed to market, and overall visibility across the various stages of the product development lifecycle. 

Backbone takes a dynamic approach to product lifecycle management compared to traditional legacy systems. Product and component libraries are the heart of the Backbone system and the central source of truth needed to create tech packs, line sheets, BOMs, and much more within minutes. 

When working in Backbone, designers and developers have greater visibility into the product. The time that would be spent looking up product details in email threads, spreadsheets, or design folders can go toward improving design workflows. The more you use Backbone PLM, the more efficient your team will become. Tech pack creation becomes seamless, sharing designs is automatic, and submitting change requests with vendors can be done in just a few clicks.

If you’re ready to build your brand with Backbone and utilize a better Agile Fashion PLM software, discover our collection of case studies, blogs, and free resources to learn more.

Want to try Backbone for free? Click the button below to schedule a demo today and 14 days FREE to try an Agile Fashion PLM solution for yourself!