Packaged foods to fashion conglomerate ITC Limited has become what is thought to be the first Indian apparel company to adopt enterprise Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software.

The company’s Lifestyle Retail Business Division (LRBD), which includes brands such as Wills Lifestyle and John Players, has selected Freeborders’ PLM solution to streamline its apparel product development activities, from concept to delivery.

At ITC, designers, merchandisers, garment engineers and selected vendors will use the system for collaborative product development and to support its aggressive growth plans.

The division is currently using a combination of Microsoft Excel, emails and other design applications to manage product development, track changes and manage critical paths.

“In addition to our ERP, it was clear that we required a solution that would support our design-prototyping process to optimise/reduce product development lead-times,” said Prabir Sengupta, vice president – finance and information technology, ITC.

“Freeborders PLM will certainly give ITC a competitive advantage over other Indian retailers by improving time to market,” commented Prasham Kamdar, managing director of Ptex Solutions, Freeborders’ exclusive agent in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Mauritius.

Kamdar adds that: “PLM will help to make ITC LRBD’s product development process more efficient and will help to reduce lead time and product development cost.”

Retailers, brands and manufacturers already using Freeborders PLM include Courtaulds (previously Sara Lee Courtaulds), The Peacock Group, J Jill, J Crew, Christopher & Bank, Woolrich, and TAG.