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eBook

The Value of Interconnecting PLM


and Supply Chain Teams

The Value of Interconnecting PLM and Supply Chain Teams

PLM
SCE

Despite the increasing number of unexpected supply chain vulnerabilities and disruptions, many
companies are failing to address these challenges. With many brand organizations and retailers
relying on outsourced manufacturing, these complexities have become more evident, and in many
cases, hinder companies ability to build quality products quickly and deliver them to their consumer
base efficiently. As a result, many of these companies now consider factors like reduced product
quality, missed shipment milestones and higher cost-to-serve as simply the price of doing business in
an outsourced model.
To address these complexities and unlock additional value, global companies have realized the
importance of connecting product information with manufacturing and supply chain processes.
However, justifying the investment needed to connect this information is a difficult task. As this
relates to software, more specifically, product lifecycle management (PLM) and supply chain
software, determining value is sometimes difficult even more so when money is tight due to
tough economic conditions. However, the answer can be found by looking across the entire product
lifecycle to better understand how improved connectivity between the disparate groups can result
in improved individual task performance and greater value. This greater value often translates into
improved speed to market, lower production costs and reduced waste.

SCE

PLM
product

supplier

retailer
customers

purchase order
manufacturer

logistics
distributor

The Value of Interconnecting PLM and Supply Chain Teams

The Bridge to Success

PLM
SCE

Globalization has intensified the need for supply chain collaboration, which can be defined as
standardizing and sharing information across the enterprise, along with key trading partners. To
gain a competitive advantage, retailers and consumer goods brand owners sourcing from low-cost,
offshore countries need to implement technology tools to help manage the entire product lifecycle
and supply chain. These solutions enable dramatic changes by improving collaboration among
internal and external groups, standardizing processes and documents, and acting as a central
knowledge base to store and share all related data that provides visibility into the supply chain.

The Value of Interconnecting PLM and Supply Chain Teams

PLM
SCE

While supply chain collaboration may sound fairly simple, it is no easy task. Few conventional
product data management (PDM) / product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions have the ability to
cover the broad scope of the full product lifecycle by spanning supply chain execution (SCE), global
trade management and logistics tasks. Each of these functional areas often utilize individual software
systems that address their specific needs and supporting business processes. However, a single
system that connects the brand or retailers stand-alone group, and also reigns in its vendors and
trading partners, shows the value proposition easily by lowering production costs and improving
supply chain performance.

The Value of Interconnecting PLM and Supply Chain Teams

Integrate to Collaborate

PLM
SCE

The scope for this type of cross-functional technology includes everything from gathering early line
plan requirements to designing goods and writing product specifications, to building a collection
plan through multiple stages of collaboration with the factories and vendors on product design,
capacity and/or material reservations, development and costing. This is typically where the PLM
functionality ends. SCE solutions pick up at the point when goods are ordered, then manages and
tracks production and executes the necessary shipping requirements through to receipt into the
warehouse.
Bridging these functions and effectively sharing product and supply chain information unifies the
process, supporting one view and one source of data. Data is then consolidated to create a hub that
captures and manages the information across multiple enterprise systems. As a result, companies
can more efficiently collaborate with supply partners to address issues and improve decision making
that might impact product design, production and customer satisfaction.

PLM

SCE

The Value of Interconnecting PLM and Supply Chain Teams

Cutting Out the Redundancy

PLM
SCE

Without a technology solution centrally coordinating and managing global product and supply chain
information, companies face excessive manual efforts and an increased risk of errors at many points
along the way. Furthermore, multiple systems might be in place within each functional team that can
be eliminated by combining business processes and data into a common solution. This improved
alignment of product development, sourcing and supply chain operations also presents greater
value by way of the consumer through lower price points and higher quality products.

The Value of Interconnecting PLM and Supply Chain Teams

Take Control of Your Supply Chain

PLM
SCE

The fully integrated, web-based suite of functionality found in Amber Roads Supply Chain
Collaboration solutions engages the entire value chain by creating a direct, efficient connection
between product development, procurement and suppliers throughout the entire product lifecycle.
Amber Roads solution is a role-based, workflow-driven, collaborative application combining PLM
and supply chain execution capabilities. These capabilities are enabled by a common platform
that delivers visibility and analytics across the supply chain via data consolidation, collaboration,
workflows, calendar and event management, and shipment and trade document standardization.
The result is a shortening of each step in the process, allowing companies to accelerate their time to
market while improving top and bottom lines.

Supply Chain Collaboration

The Value of Interconnecting PLM and Supply Chain Teams

Key Takeaways

Brands and retailers must


look to optimize their PLM and
supply chain organizations to
decrease risk and overhead
while still delivering on
customer expectations of
more products on the shelf,
at a lower price.

The forces of change in the


retail supply chain will lead
brands and retailers to look
at new technologies that can
transform global supply chain
business processes.

An effective, efficient solution


provides a view across all PLM
and SCE functional areas that
will ultimately drive improved
processes.

Success will be measured by


how well software technology
providers can present PLM and
supply chain data across the
enterprise, and with trading
partners, to illustrate their
overall value to the business.

The right solution will unify


all the information in a single
source from concept to
delivery. By closely integrating
with external systems, everyone
involved is looking at one view
and following one standard
business process, resulting in a
quicker and more cost effective
response to unexpected
product disruptions.

About Amber Road


Amber Roads (NYSE: AMBR) mission is to improve the way companies manage their international
supply chains and conduct global trade. As a leading provider of cloud based global trade
management (GTM) solutions, we automate the global supply chain across sourcing, logistics,
cross-border trade, and regulatory compliance activities to dramatically improve operating
efficiencies and financial performance. This includes collaborating with suppliers on development,
sourcing and quality assurance; executing import and export compliance checks and generating
international shipping documentation; booking international carriers and tracking goods as
they move around the world; and minimizing the associated duties through preferential trade
agreements and foreign trade zones. Our solution combines enterprise-class software, trade
content sourced from government agencies and transportation providers in 147 countries, and
a global supply chain network connecting our customers with their trading partners, including
suppliers, testing/auditing firms, freight forwarders, customs brokers and transportation carriers.
We deliver our GTM solution using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model and leverage a highly
flexible technology framework to quickly and efficiently meet our customers unique requirements
around the world.
To learn more about how Amber Road can help your organization more effectively collaborate
with trading partners and improve global supply chain performance, please visit
www.amberroad.com, email Solutions@AmberRoad.com or call 201-935-8588.

One Meadowlands Plaza East Rutherford, NJ 07073 (T) 201 935 8588 (F) 201 935 5187 www.AmberRoad.com Solutions@AmberRoad.com
2016 Amber Road, Inc. All rights reserved.