While product lifecycle management (PLM) software is more traditionally used by retailers and brands, Guatemala's leading fashion denim producer Denimatrix has also recognised the potential of such a tool when it comes to improving the efficiency and speed of key product development and pre-production processes – including sampling, costings, and bill of materials. 

Denimatrix works with many leading fashion brands and retailers to quickly bring 'fashion right' products to market. It offers vertically integrated solutions, coordinating product development from raw materials to garment finishing to maximise innovation at competitive prices.

Having already successfully implemented Fast React's Evolve manufacturing planning and control solution to reduce lead times and WIP (work-in-process), and boost productivity, the next focus for improvement was in the product development and pre-production area. The company has subsequently selected its Vision e-PLM to replace multiple disconnected and highly manual systems. 

"We are now keen to streamline and improve performance in the product development and pre-production areas, and integrate this with planning," explains Erik Johannessen, CIO at Denimatrix.

He adds that the software will help "add real value to our customers by improving the efficiency and speed of processes including sampling, costings and bill of materials (BOM), as well as the critical path management that pulls the whole process together."

Vision is a modular system, and the Denimatrix solution has been designed for a manufacturer that is actively involved in design and development. It is fully integrated with production planning and other systems to maximise the benefits to the business and its customers. The solution includes the management of ranges, samples, costings, materials, and purchase orders, as well as critical path management and full reporting.

"With continued pressure on speed to market and margins, we have seen many forward thinking manufacturers play an increasing role in the design and product development process," says Stuart McCready-Stocks, business development manager at Fast React.

"Denimatrix are a great example of this type of business, and were quick to see the significant benefits that a fashion specific PLM would deliver to the business and its customers. The result will be a more streamlined design, development and pre-production process, providing Denimatrix, its suppliers and customers with the improved visibility, coordination and control, which is essential to driving business performance in areas such as sampling, costing, BOM creation and materials management.

"All of this will also drive the opportunity to reduce lead times and achieve on time production start which is crucial to productivity."