OSL launches specialist apparel and footwear PRM solution

Option Systems Limited (OSL), a leading global specialist in the provision of IT solutions for the apparel and footwear industries, has launched STYLEprm the market's first specialist range management solution for apparel and footwear businesses. The new STYLEprm - Product Range Management (PRM) - system is a powerful, web-based collaborative range lifecycle management application and the first solution to go beyond traditional Product Data Management (PDM) to ensure that designers and suppliers have the information and control they need to plan, develop and review an entire product range as it evolves, creating the right mix of designs and products - on time and on budget.

Designed from the outset to meet the specialist needs of apparel and footwear producers, STYLEprm delivers a complete solution for the entire product development process, including range calendars, grading tables, material usage, budget costing and pre-production critical path. It provides design teams and manufacturers with a single repository for all their style or range-related information - such as sketches, drawings, photographs, scanned images and documents, measurements, manufacturing instructions, development history, sampling details and test results. Because STYLEprm is entirely web-based, authorised users can access this essential information from a standard web browser anywhere in the world.

"Today's product and range lifecycle is a continuous process and we've moved away from traditional Summer and Winter collections to a world of smaller production runs and increasing development costs," commented Tony Parkinson, Managing Director of Option Systems Limited. "With STYLEprm we're for the first time providing apparel and footwear businesses with a comprehensive view of the global critical path across the entire lifecycle of their range, from initial product and range planning right through design, sampling and into production.

"With STYLEprm, businesses can also allocate, manage and automatically track internal and external activities, and supply chain partners can share visibility of range and sampling milestones, as well as receive automatic, configurable status notifications by e-mail or fax," he continued. "This means we can give range developers and management the ability to manage the lifecycle of an entire range and provide comparisons to pre-agreed range calendar milestones. We also provide a true, task-driven collaborative environment that allows organisations and their partners to ensure on-time completion of all aspects of a collection."

STYLEprm's workflow engine features a powerful range calendar that drives range production around key dates such as shows, range meetings, exhibitions and first deliveries. STYLEprm then uses these key dates to build events in the range cycle that need to be tracked - these can be varied by product type, country of origin, and the specific individuals, groups and suppliers that own each action. STYLEprm's workflow engine then tasks the people responsible, if necessary reminding them of imminent activities and alerting development management where necessary.

Real time range revision

STYLEprm also acknowledges that ranges never stay the same and that, as development progresses, new styles may be added to the range, revised versions created and some dropped. With STYLEprm, range developers can view their style mix graphically and structure their range by style attributes such as 'how many tops versus bottoms?', 'what's the colour balance?', 'how many sizes are being run?', and progress towards an optimum style/colour/size balance.

STYLEprm takes full advantage of STYLEman's flexibility, with a browser-based architecture that means it runs equally well on Mac or PC networks, can be accessed from anywhere in the world, is available in a range of different languages, and can be integrated easily with third party ERP, CAD and merchandise systems for true end-to-end supply chain management.

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