Forecasts for the uptake of product life cycle management (PLM) technology in the clothing industry might have slowed from the bullish expectations of three years ago - but industry observers still believe the sector could grow by 20% per annum by 2014, according to the latest industry management briefing by just-style.com.
In an exclusive briefing on this important technology for apparel firms, just-style finds PLM software suppliers are still confident that investment in the tools will continue to be strong, despite the volatile global economy.
Three years ago, apparel software firms were raving about the growth potential of product life cycle management (PLM) technology, forecasting the market could grow 30-40% annually by 2014.
Fast forward to 2011, and those projections have been tailed off. While they are still bullish, some observers admit earlier forecasts were "wishful thinking," pumped up during an economic boom notorious for exaggerations on the growth potential of a slew of markets.
That said the briefing goes on to highlight the potential for PLM software suppliers in markets such as China, India and Asia Pacific - which are poised to benefit from the region's booming fashion markets.
"We've had a lot of response from Asia where we've had major sales," Simon Poulton, sales vice president at French software provider Lectra tells just-style. "Domestic brands are growing surprisingly quickly and because there are hardly any legacy systems, they are embracing technology straight away."
One anonymous observer says Asia's growth rates could easily double the global average in the next few years as the region's economies continue to grow at an average of 7% a year.
The briefing also notes, however, that the US and Europe still remain the largest PLM markets. "Fashion retail in the US and European markets is stagnant," one observer says, while "China and India are experiencing significant growth."
To read the full management briefing visit: http://www.just-style.com/management-briefings/july-2011-management-briefing-plm-software-in-the-apparel-supply-chain_id612.aspx
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Chris Boaz, Aroq