Freeborders Inc on Wednesday released FB iPDM 2.6, an enhanced product data management (PDM) solution that enables retailers and brands to collaborate on product innovations and specifications on a global basis.

As a result, it says, apparel companies can significantly reduce product lead times, while scaling quickly to meet the needs of their customers.

Because 80 per cent of the total apparel product cost — including manufacturing and distribution — is committed during the upfront design and development phases, FB iPDM 2.6 allows critical product decisions to be made earlier, faster, and more accurately to help reduce costs throughout the rest of the product cycle.

New features include quick costing for one-touch margin and sourcing-scenario analysis, while its embedded workflow and exception reporting enables all users to adhere to a development calendar and ensure on-time delivery.

Shane-Hunter, owner of the Aqua Blues brand and a tier-one supplier to a number of top retailers, says FB iPDM has helped speed up product throughput. "We are delivering literally hundreds of junior styles each month to our top retail customers," said company president Wayne Malen.