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New tech a “game changer” for brands to make consumer-informed decisions before production

Tom Bottomley
20 May 2024

PTC Retail, which leads the Product Lifestyle Management (PLM) industry for retail, footwear and apparel, has integrated its FlexPLM system with MakerSights, enabling designers to get consumer feedback on products before actually putting them into production.

MakerSights is a modern research partner providing apparel, footwear and accessory brands with high-impact product and assortment insights across the product life cycle.

Leveraging PTC’s Flex Connect solution, the integration “instantly synchronises product data from FlexPLM to the MakerSights platform in real time”. That allows product creation and merchandising teams to have consistent data across platforms, reducing the risk of errors and eliminating manual work, as well as mitigating the risks associated with overproduction.

Both FlexPLM and MakerSights share a common goal – “to help brands build and maintain winning assortments”. The integration enables companies to connect consumer feedback on concepts and in-development products with the relevant product data in PLM to better inform on pricing, investment, and “go to market decisions”.

Brands like J.Crew and Madewell, who have used the connector, have benefited by gaining iterative feedback throughout the evolution of a line, ensuring a more informed development process without any slowdowns.

Madewell Divisional Merchandise Director, Grace Brooks, said: “Integrating MakerSights with FlexPLM has made testing new products with consumers and finalising assortments a much more seamless and efficient process at Madewell.

“We are now able to move from evaluating newness to finalising 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.”

By seamlessly feeding data from FlexPLM and automating workflows, product information in MakerSights remains up to date and set-up time is reduced by 75%.

Bill Brewster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of PTC’s Retail Business unit, commented: “The collaboration between MakerSights and FlexPLM is pivotal in today’s fast-moving retail product development landscape, streamlining processes for designers and merchants, thereby enhancing agility and expediting the delivery of winning products to market.

“We’re continuing to see a growing need for retail brands to establish deeper integrations that foster seamless connectivity across solutions, teams and processes.

“The digital thread provided by this integration is essential for accelerating cycle time and improving sustainability and margins - objectives that are top of mind for nearly every brand.”

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