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07/19/2022

J.Crew streamlines product development

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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J.Crew is enhancing its PLM capabilities.

J.Crew Group is easing the process of engaging consumers about in-development products.

The specialty apparel retailer is deploying the MakerSights collaborative assortment management solution, integrated with the PTC FlexPLM V12 product lifecycle management (PLM) platform, at its J. Crew and Madewell banners.

This enables J. Crew to synchronize PLM data from the FlexPLM platform with MakerSights Workspace, enabling product creation and merchandising personnel to more quickly and easily interact with consumers about in-development products.

J. Crew is also leveraging the integrated solution to break down data silos, allowing cross-functional collaboration on assortment management. The retailer intends to obtain a complete, up-to-date view of in-development assortments within the context of consumer sentiment data and internal feedback.

With a 360-degree view of the assortment, J. Crew wants to empower product and merchandising teams to make faster, data-informed product decisions, in hopes this will reduce the risk of over-assortment and overproduction, while delivering higher-performing assortments with improved SKU productivity, margins, and full-price sell-through rates.

“Integrating MakerSights with FlexPLM has made testing new products with consumers and finalizing assortments a much more seamless and efficient process at Madewell,” said Madewell divisional merchandise manager Grace Brooks. “We are now able to move from evaluating newness to finalizing an assortment more quickly and with far greater confidence because we’re making decisions based on product-specific feedback from our target consumers. This is a game-changer for us in terms of productivity, efficiency, and scalability.”

“The integration between MakerSights and FlexPLM is a critical connection in the retail product development landscape, saving product and merchant teams valuable time and enabling them to become faster and more agile as they create and bring new products to market at digital speed,” said Bill Brewster, senior VP & GM of PTC’s Retail Business Unit. “Whether they realize it yet or not, there is an intense need for retail brands to create an integrated technology ecosystem that provides a digital thread, connecting cross-functional teams and processes. Accelerating time to market and improving profitability, which is something on just about every brand’s agenda this year, depends on this digital thread and the automation of workflows from planning to product creation and go-to-market.”

“As brands continue to look for areas of growth, the need for systems to communicate effectively will become critical to their success,” said MakerSights co-founder and CEO Dan Leahy. “The MakerSights integration with FlexPLM enables brands to scale insights above just one area of the business, empowering them with the holistic visibility into their product lines and consumer sentiment data they need to find opportunities and curate higher-performing assortments across their entire portfolio.”

Lands’ End optimizes product assortment
Another specialty retailer, Lands’ End, is also implementing PLM technology to improve its product assortment management. The company is deploying the Centric Software PLM platform, with the goals of achieving seamless integration between PLM and connecting systems, automated and consistent data flows, standardized cross-team processes, clear communication, and fully enabled process and system functionality across business models.

Lands’ End further intends to eliminate the manual re-entry of data into disparate systems with its new PLM platform.