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A quick and easy comparison guide

Surefront vs. CBX / TradeBeyond PLM

PLM software should make it easier to communicate with your product development team. But how do you decide which software is best for your business?

Below, you can compare Surefront with CBX PLM, which is currently transitioning their offering to their TradeBeyond product. You’ll see how these two platforms stack up when it comes to product development, project management, and more.

The Benefits of CBX/TradeBeyond

Founded in Hong Kong, CBX was inspired around the turn of the century by the product development issues facing the leading global private label manufacturers. Which issues exactly? The fact that lots of work - from new product ideation to production and fulfillment - was happening in a piecemeal fashion, outside of any type of software system. The goal of the CBX solution was to enable collaboration amongst internal and external team members to make production and fulfillment more efficient. Because the platform was built with large manufacturing firms in mind, CBX serves some very notable customers and often wins business based just on the brand recognition of those customers.

The Shortcomings of CBX/TradeBeyond

One of the design flaws of the legacy CBX platform is that each customer has a unique subnet for each of their business relationships. Ultimately this means that there is no benefit to any collaborators who are not the CBX account owners. These suppliers or manufacturers need to have a separate login and account for each of their retailer and brand customers. If they are selling the same product to multiple brands or retailers that all use CBX, they still need to set that product up over and over and over again. CBX customers save time and benefit from the in-platform collaboration, but there is no real benefit for their business partners, whose employees will still need to duplicate efforts. 

CBX is also limited in terms of offerings, providing tools to help with the back end of the process (project management for production and fulfillment). It helps with costing out items, sample production, production, and fulfillment, but none of the creative elements. It is very much a static PLM, and feels almost like Excel has been dropped into a software platform.


Now, twenty years after its inception, CBX has come to the realization that the CBX-branded product offering is not keeping up with where the market is heading, and they've shifted direction, investing in an entirely new platform called TradeBeyond.

Whereas the CBX platform focuses heavily on production and fulfillment, the goal of the TradeBeyond solution is to go a bit more upstream in the new product development process for product lifecycle management, allowing for creative collaboration between retailer and brand or between brand and manufacturer. 


The intentions are there, but TradeBeyond leaves a lot to be desired, mostly because it is very lean, very bare bones. You can use TradeBeyond to create products, inviting counterparts either at other organizations or on your team to comment about the products that you've created and/or to contribute to some set field of non-flexible/configurable product attributes. And that's about it. You are still heavily reliant on supporting documents and attachments, and will need to work outside of the platform for many of your product lifecycle management tasks.

When To Choose TradeBeyond

Historically, CBX has been focused on private labels from within big brands. TradeBeyond is following suit. Still, it is hard to imagine what type of business would see a lot of value in the TradeBeyond product as it stands today, with its very limited features and configurability. The existing CBX customer base may consider trying out the new tool based on their existing relationship with the company and the switching costs of moving to a new software solution.

When To Go With Surefront

Surefront offers a shared workspace that gives your internal and external teams (supplier partners, vendors and factories) a place to fully collaborate all the way from new product ideation through production so that you don't have to spend all of your time migrating data into and out of a PLM system. This is important if you want to run an efficient, fully collaborative process without the risk of human error. It's also key to eliminating the lion's share of administrative tasks and savings tons of time for your team members. As a bonus, less busy work usually equates to happier team members, which translates into improved employee retention.  

Interact and Negotiate Directly Within the Quote

Beyond that, Surefront has a best in class product information management module that helps teams outside of product development and merchandising find and utilize the information that those two teams are creating and bringing to market in order to facilitate eCommerce sales, marketing, customer support and more.

Surefront's user experience is top notch as well, making it a great tool for any team made up of digital natives. 

BOTTOM LINE: If you are in need of a solution that does it all - PLM, PIM, catalog management - Surefront is hands down the tool for you. Surefront offers a full suite software platform that is fully customizable.

Streamline Workflows


Feature Comparison: Surefront vs. TradeBeyond PLM 

Surefront offers several features TradeBeyond doesn’t, including custom workflows, visual search and sorting abilities, and free vendor access. Here’s a complete list:




tradebeyond logo


Product Database
Custom Exports
No-Code Product Data Model
Custom Project Management Workflow
Contextual Communication
Vendor Collaborative Workspaces
Free Vendor Access & Onboarding
Consumer-Grade User Interface
Visual Assortments
< 3 Month Adoption Time
U.S. Based


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