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From PLM 1.0 to PLM 2.0: the evolving role of product lifecycle management (PLM) in the textile and apparel industries

Jo Conlon (Department of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 5 May 2020

Issue publication date: 26 October 2020




Product lifecycle management (PLM) is an enterprise-wide strategy gaining prominence across manufacturing. The fashion industry is a late adopter of PLM, yet within global fashion and textile organisations PLM is now becoming a mainstream approach to optimize core processes. This literature review analyses the latest academic research to establish a broad basis of understanding of PLM in the sector and identify potential future research directions.


A systematic literature review was conducted to investigate the current state and main perspectives of research on PLM in the textiles and apparel sector. The paper adopts the three features (managerial, technological and collaborative) of the definition of PLM by Corallo et al. (2013) as the analytic framework for the 27 papers to illustrate how PLM is framed and conceptualised in the RFA sector.


PLM is at an interesting phase as it evolves from classical PLM 1.0 to connected PLM 2.0. The evolution of PLM from its PDM origins as an IT tool to a critical component of the strategy for digital transformation is reported. The strategic role of suppliers is noted as a critical success factor. Key inhibitors relating to PLM adoption and optimization in the sector are identified as limited holistic and theoretical perspective of PLM coupled with a deficiency in relevant industry skills. It is argued that the transformational potential of PLM 2.0 may not be fully realised without a more coordinated development effort through industrial and academic collaboration.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study are that it is a literature review of academic papers in the RFA sector papers within the timescale 2000–2018. PLM 1.0 has dominated in this time period however the potential trajectory of connected PLM 2.0 is beginning to emerge.

Practical implications

The results from this paper indicate that there is a lack of research on PLM in the sector and concludes by suggesting promising future research possibilities: further empirical and case studies on organisations implementing a PLM strategy; studies reporting on the contribution of PLM to address the challenges of sustainability, traceability and transparency in the industry and inter-industry collaborations; studies with knowledge management theories specifically applied to the textile and apparel sector; and the opportunity for academic and industry collaboration on the development of PLM to meet these needs.


To the best of the author's knowledge, no systematic literature review on this topic has previously been published in academic journals. Given levels of investment in PLM platforms in the sector, both practitioners in companies and the academic community might find the review and agenda for future research useful.



I would like to acknowledge the support and expertise received from Mark Harrop and WhichPLM, PTC and ITC Infotech.


Conlon, J. (2020), "From PLM 1.0 to PLM 2.0: the evolving role of product lifecycle management (PLM) in the textile and apparel industries", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 533-553.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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