PDM (Product Data Management) is probably in your future. No company can afford to be without some form of software that allows the organization of all information necessary to develop apparel products. Stylefile is a fantastic product created and developed by Patternworks, an apparel industry service company, for their own use.
Based on the usefulness of the software, they decided to make it available to other companies. We learned about the product from Kathleen Fasanella. We later traveled with Kathleen to California to meet the fabulous folks at Patternworks. We love the software and recommend that you learn as much about it as you can before you invest in your PDM software.
You may find Kathleen’s post, Free! Try StyleFile PDM/PLM software for 30 days, to be a great place to get started. Or surf over to the main website for the product at Stylefile. Take some time to look at the Patternworks site so you can see that the software developers are apparel industry workers who offer a variety of services to the industry.
Both Kathleen and we believe the software is so outstanding because it was created by users who understand the “ins and outs” of this industry. The Patternworks website says, “With innovative, updated technology, a wealth of industry experience and a focus on customer service, Patternworks has become one of the leading computer pattern services on the West Coast. A complete understanding of both garment design and manufacturing enables us to provide a broad range of services including pattern design, grading, marking and detailed technical packages.”
There is a Stylefile wiki you can read to learn the software step by step. Stylefile also has a blog and a Facebook page for your use. And finally, drop into YouTube to see videos about the software and its use.
Let’s end with a list of items Kathleen created to show the powerful capabilities of Stylefile.
- Tracking the work process, soup to nuts.
- Line sheet creation
- Bill of Material (BOM)
- Complete costing
- Full technical specification packages
- Writing sewing instructions (to which you can attach illustrations)
- Grading and sizes management (grading charts and reports)
- POM (point of measure) database
- Cutting tickets
- Style management by style, size and colorways (duh)
- A wide variety of reports which can be emailed or printed (pdf)
- Detailed measurement specifications
- Complete revision history
- Manufacturing orders
- Fabric testing reports, tracked at the fabric level rather than style number
- Calculating materials needed for cut orders
- GCC forms built in (for CPSIA)
- Vendor database
- Sewing and service providers tracking
- All manner of dye lot and sublimation tracking and testing
- Shrinkage tracking built in
- Pattern cards