LONDON–Technavio’s latest market research report on the global product life cycle management (PLM) in apparel market provides an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
PLM software plays a key role in the automation of the processes involved in fashion designing and manufacturing. It helps designers to reduce the time needed for creating new designs and products.
According to Amrita Choudhury, a lead analyst at Techavio for product lifecycle management research, “PLM applications such as cPDM work via a web-based or on-premises interface and allow all suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors involved in the design and development of garments to work and communicate on the same platform on a real-time basis. cPDM software collects a product's specifications in a file, which is then used by product development agents including the designers and manufacturers.”
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The top three emerging market trends driving the global PLM in apparel market according to Technavio research analysts are:
- Shift from perpetual license model to subscription model
- Development of smart apparel manufacturing factories
- Capability of cPDM to support CAD files
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Shift from perpetual license model to subscription model
The global PLM in apparel market will shift toward periodic subscriptions and licenses. The high ROI from subscriptions will encourage PLM vendors to gradually reduce the sale of perpetual licenses before finally discarding them completely. The subscription model is simple and provides a better user experience to customers. Vendors can provide updated software versions with bug patches. In addition, the upfront cost is also low in this model.
On-premises software and services could be subscribed based on terms decided by the user. This flexibility coupled with up-to-date software has made the subscription model a preferred option among end-users. For instance, Autodesk stopped providing perpetual licenses for all its product suits in February 2016. It started focusing on periodical subscriptions to boost revenue from end-users after stopping the perpetual licensing system. Similarly, PTC has planned to discard the perpetual license model for all their products, except Kepware, by January 1, 2018.
Development of smart apparel manufacturing factories
There is a shift from real manufacturing to digital manufacturing, which enables companies to plan and execute the life cycle of a product digitally. This transition has led to the development of Industry 4.0; wherein smart machines are installed in the apparel manufacturing factories, which carry out the entire production process without any human intervention.
“Digital manufacturing leads to the elimination of product wastage, downtime, defects, and delays. The processes of a smart factory, such as conception, design, planning, and execution, require extensive use of PLM solutions such as CAD, which augurs well for the growth of the market during the forecast period,” says Amrita.
Capability of cPDM to support CAD files
Apparel manufacturing companies develop apparel and textiles using designing tools for enhanced capabilities. The design data from the designing team is based on customers' needs and is often developed on different platforms. Interoperability is a major requirement during the designing stage of apparel. For this reason, several cPDM vendors have incorporated the capability to support different types of CAD files, such as .dwg, dft, .3dxml, psm, and database files. This enables the integration of different design files for the generation of a single product structure. It also facilitates the integration of 2D and 3D documents for the visualization of the final product assembly.
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