Lawson Software has bought the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) division of San Francisco-based Freeborders in a move that will expand its offering for companies in the fashion industry.

Freeborders will retain its existing technology outsourcing services, which are not included in the deal, the company said in a statement yesterday (17 March).

PLM helps fashion manufacturers speed up the sourcing of materials needed to move a product from design to production.

By adding PLM capabilities to its enterprise software portfolio, Lawson can now help companies establish processes that will enable them to cut the lead-time from product concept to production to actual delivery to the retail store shelf.

The PLM solution developed by Freeborders is used by 79 customers in the US, Europe and Asia.

Lawson Fashion PLM will initially be available as a standalone product while the company determines how its fits with the core Lawson M3 Enterprise Management System for the fashion industry.

“The Freeborders solution fills a gap we had in meeting our fashion customers' overall supply chain needs,” said Bob McKee, industry strategy director, Fashion, for Lawson.

“We now have a proven PLM solution that our customers can add easily and can work alongside our global fashion solutions.”