Decision Support

MakerSights + FlexPLM: Powering Faster, Data-Informed Assortment Decisions

Team MakerSights

June 28, 2022

Every assortment decision that product creation and merchandising teams make has the potential to make an outsized impact on the success of the line — not to mention the profitability of the brand. 

However, the information these teams need to craft the most timely and appealing assortments possible is often siloed across multiple platforms, forcing them to delay critical decisions or move forward based on assumptions and gut instincts. The result? Products consumers don’t want, excess inventory, and ever-eroding margins

Fortunately, MakerSights’ new integration with PTC FlexPLM is empowering brands to break down these silos and make more efficient and scalable assortment decisions with consumer data at their core. 

How It Works

FlexPLM V12, made by PTC, is the retail industry’s most widely used PLM (product lifecycle management) platform. Brands use FlexPLM to manage the end-to-end product lifecycle and all associated details, from inception and seasonal themes to manufacturing and SKU depths. 

MakerSights’ new integration automatically syncs assortment information housed within the FlexPLM platform to MakerSights’ dashboard for a unified and always-fresh product view. This includes product details and dimensions like colorway, category, price, SKU lifecycle, and many more. Any changes merchants make to products in FlexPLM are instantly reflected in MakerSights.

From there, brands are able to quickly and easily engage with target consumers on in-development products using MakerSights’ Voice of Consumer testing. Overall, the integration enables joint MakerSights and FlexPLM clients to make better assortment decisions, operate more efficiently, and scale insights with ease. Let’s dig into each of these key benefits in more detail.

Benefit #1: Improve Decisions

Collecting and effectively applying consumer feedback on products is extremely difficult without a complete and up-to-date view of the assortment. In fact, almost 70% of merchant and product professionals report that their brands’ assortments are not consistently informed by consumer input. 

The MakerSights and FlexPLM integration empowers teams with an up-to-the-minute view of key product details, enabling them to capture precise and highly actionable consumer sentiment data in the context of the larger assortment. This allows for faster, consumer data-informed product decisions that reduce over assortment and overproduction, deliver higher-performing assortments and improve margins and full-price sell-through rates.

Benefit #2: Drive Efficiencies

Drawing conclusions can feel like a game of telephone when mission-critical information is scattered across teams and tools. Merchants and product creators waste valuable time chasing down product details and piecing them together. Such manual processes are often riddled with errors and inaccuracies, and without the ability to harness consumer data to drive objectivity, brands spend days debating over opinions before a single milestone is met.

Automatically passing assortment information from FlexPLM to MakerSights saves these teams significant time and resources that should be spent on more strategic and higher-value tasks. They can also feel more confident in their decisions since all data is fresh, detailed, and accurate, allowing them to rapidly test products in development and consistently move product creation forward.

Benefit #3: Scale Effectively 

Growth depends on a brand’s ability to scale effective decision making across the organization. As brands add more tools to their technology stacks, the need for these systems to communicate with and pass information between one another will become increasingly vital to success. 

By connecting two critical digital tools within a brand’s value chain, this integration creates a direct path to cross-functional collaboration on assortment management within a single digital workspace. “The integration 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 to find opportunities and curate higher-performing assortments across their entire portfolio,” says MakerSights Co-founder and CEO Dan Leahy. 

Who’s Using It

The new MakerSights and FlexPLM integration is already being used by consumer- obsessed, smart-to-market brands like Madewell and J.Crew. “Integrating MakerSights with FlexPLM has made testing new products with consumers and finalizing assortments a much more seamless and efficient process at Madewell, says Madewell Divisional Merchandise Manager Grace Brooks. 

She continues, “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.”

See for Yourself

If you’re a joint MakerSights and FlexPLM client, reach out to your MakerSights Customer Success Manager to start using the integration today! Not yet a client but interested in learning more? Go here to request a demo, and our team will be in touch shortly.

Team MakerSights

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