Software, like any other industry, is constantly going through trends. Product lifecycle management (PLM) software is no exception to that rule. Looking forward into 2019, the future of PLM software looks remarkably bright and exciting.
The Internet of Things
You’ve probably already seen a number of articles discussing the Internet of things. For PLM, the industrial Internet of things (IIoT) provides connections throughout the supply chain that were simply never possible before. This enables communication and connectivity on a scale heretofore imagined, and it delivers it at the push of a button. Going deeper into the supply chain has always been the goal, but having transparency across the entirety of the chain is something else entirely.
Taking steps to move above and beyond the standard collaborators is key. PLM has traditionally focused on the brand and manufacturer. While that’s helpful, it’s far from comprehensive. The IIoT can connect mills, factories, and packagers, as well as the producers of labels, components, and trims. With IIoT, a live connection can be established between virtually every link of the supply chain.
Analytics and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is already being used to drive design and development. When coupled with analytics, AI is even helping to predict and identify trends. But those are just the beginning stages of much larger and more exciting enterprises. Traditional forecasters are going to need to compete against buyer-focused AI that can target specific customers. By identifying their tastes, understanding their spending habits, and predicting their desires in real-time, the blend of analytics and AI will take predictive algorithms to a whole new level. Integrating this data into your PLM will be essential in staying a step ahead of the competition.
A Virtual Twin
The virtual twin has been used in the textile industry for decades, but it won’t be relegated to clothing forever. Although it has always been focused on materials and products, it’s becoming more viable for elements and components. With the ability to virtually engineer each individual piece or component, the virtual twin will become more prevalent and more essential to customers than ever before. Naturally, this will impact purchasers, suppliers, and send shock waves throughout the supply chain. For those that are already ahead of the curve, this will enable them to better deliver what customers want.
In larger cities, 5G is already arriving. Being 1,000 times faster than 4G, 5G brings up a whole new host of possibilities for mobile devices. With 5G, everything in the cloud will suddenly become more accessible and more a part of daily life. Social media will continue to transform, and entertainment will be more deliverable. Even PLM and Blockchain will need to adapt and adjust to a more potent mobile experience.
Generation Z is already accustomed to accessing the world via mobile devices. Unlike older generations, there’s no need to convince them to adopt the latest technology. They effortlessly adjust to the latest trends. With the rise of Generation Z in the world of retail, their likes and dislikes are going to have a huge impact. They’re environmentally conscious, less interested in mass produced products, and more concerned their own ethics and global impact. To accommodate a new generation of breadwinners, manufacturers and brands will have to make adjustments as well.
The best PLM software is always looking forward and adapting to the latest advances in technology. To learn more about what it can deliver for your business, speak with the professionals at CBX Software.