Bad data is not a victimless “crime.” It leads to faulty inventory predictions and internal errors. These errors lead to over assortment and, when too much inventory sits on retail shelves, discounting becomes a necessity –– leading to reduced margins. Trend responsiveness on new styles slows. And, in the face of way too many choices, overwhelmed customers wind up buying less altogether.
Fortunately, bad data is also highly preventable. PLM solution providers can help retail businesses transform data errors from a pressing problem into a distant memory. The retail industry is realizing the necessity of PLM software solutions. Covid-19 accelerated the rate of PLM adoption in 2020, and the PLM solutions industry has been on an upward trajectory ever since. In fact, the product lifecycle management market size is predicted to grow to an unprecedented $32.1 billion in 2023.
Let’s talk about how PLM software solutions can help reduce or eradicate the data errors plaguing the retail industry in news ways this spring.
Catch bad data before it eats critical resources
Bad data costs the average U.S. business $12.9 million a year. When retailers lack a single source of truth, errors occur. These errors cost more to resolve the closer they get to the frontline. Say, for instance, a home furnishings brand has the wrong color iteration for a couch stored in their PLM solution. Without the means to see who entered the wrong color, and at which stage of development the wrong color was entered, the brand won’t have the means to address the error in a timely fashion.
This can result in retailers placing orders for a color that doesn’t exist, causing lost sales revenue, wasted employee hours, and potentially even a lost relationship with that particular retailer. We’re living in the midst of a global supply chain shortage. It’s more important than ever for suppliers, brands, and retailers to have accurate product data at their fingertips.
It’s equally important for retail businesses to have a historical change log within their PLM solution that tracks every single change throughout the product lifecycle. With an easily accessible historical change log, bad data can be identified, targeted, and remedied in a shorter period of time, before it negatively impacts the business in a measurable way.
Granular data leads to smarter decision making
Yet, all too often, retailers lack access to the granular historical data that’s necessary to improve decision making. While aggregate data can be helpful to identify over-arching industry trends, it doesn’t help determine targeted actions. Product lifecycle management solutions can give retail businesses the data they need to make informed manufacturing and purchasing decisions, centralizing data such as: product components, colors, history, who ordered what, and what they said about it. NielsenIQ reports:
“Granular data enables unique results for specific market clusters and measures them as they change—in real time. With this information, retailers can determine the unique implications for each cluster, rather than simply looking at data on an aggregate level. ”
The best PLM solutions let retail teams review and standardize granular product data before it goes downstream. Whether it’s how products performed at various store locations, or tracking retailer preferences so sales teams can create customized product offerings. With an agile PLM, teams can easily edit product fields and values, tracking every edit that transpired. So it takes minutes, not weeks, to determine who made what modifications and at what stage of the game those modifications were made.
PLM solutions make it easier to achieve data integrity
Accurate data helps retailers consistently customize their offerings for the front line. Historically, product lifecycle management solutions were relegated to managing product data –– which is a critical part of the puzzle. It’s certainly essential for retailers to bring products to market quickly in an organized fashion. But the product ideation, manufacturing, and shipping phases are just a part of the retail process.
The best PLM solution providers are taking data integrity a step further, going beyond the product lifecycle to streamline teams that have nothing to do with bringing products to market. That’s because we realize that the difference between just processing transactions and driving the retail experience lies in more than just products. To become a frictionless vendor, brands need to offer certainty, data specificity and ease. That’s what our PLM software was designed to offer.
Surefront PLM software carries the retail relationship far beyond production, with features to address data management, eCommerce listings, B2B sales, and more. Surefront is the best PLM solution provider for brands and suppliers because we are the only PLM software built for the retail industry, by the retail industry. Surefront PLM lowers operating costs so significantly that we offer a 10x ROI on every software purchase, guaranteed.