Backbone PLM: Designer Software for Designers

Matthew Klein, CEO and Co-founder
Software for the designer that reflects the fashion industry’s own philosophy, might call for a burst of creativity. Designers don’t like the straitjacketed working styles or anything that curbs free-flowing processes. Might it then be best if a designer makes the software for designers?

That is what Backbone PLM has done. Cofounder and CEO Matthew Klein says his company’s strength over incumbent players comes precisely from this aspect. Backbone’s other Cofounder Andrew Klein comes with top design credentials. He was a designer at Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger and at Backbone oversees application design (UI/UX), web design and graphic design, besides “taking out the trash,” as the company’s Chief Product Officer.

“Backbone PLM has been created by designers for designers,” Matthew asserts, pointing out path-breaking changes it is bringing about. “We are re-inventing the software for this time and age. “We are re-inventing design and product development for next generation companies. We are focused on workflow management and bringing new attention to updates in the product development process through technology.”

Traditional software for design industry is antiquated. It remains mired in the old, allowing little freedom or creativity to users. Consequently, newer consumer goods companies such as Opening Ceremony have had to look elsewhere for software, creating opportunities for game-changers like Backbone PLM.

“Our software creates a framework hinged on workflow management, allowing users to create their own nomenclature. This is the kind of friction-less software new brands expect,” says Matthew.

The Kleins’ business focus is clear: the next-generation design market. In recent years, a wave of brands has come into the market with relatively smaller revenues of about $300 million. These seek simple but powerful collaborative tools, flexibility, and critically seek to go to market quickly.

Backbone has sought to deliver on these requirements. Its digital tech pack, for example, provides great version control in an environment of data moving back and forth from teams to their factories and suppliers.


We are re-inventing design and product development for next generation companies


It adds fidelity to product development, and keeps companies staying within budget and on time.

The company’s tech packs are designed to be faster, cutting lead times and reducing errors. Similarly, admin control panels allow flexible fields, enable customized nomenclature and do away with need for additional file storage. Color stories for seasons, size specs, reuse features, milestone calendars and more are all in play with Backbone. “We offer a one-stop solution for all of your product development needs,” remarks Matthew.

“Take image editing, for example,” says Matthew. “It is a time-intensive process for designers and that is where we offer a great solution at the product level, with new tools for annotations allowing teams to get more done with less.”

Last year, Backbone added over a hundred features to its software. It’s only the tip of the iceberg, says Matthew as he discusses the future. Backbone 2.0, coming later this year, will add more modules for merchandising and planning, as well as production coordination.

“We are addressing a lot of other trends, too,” says Matthew, referring to induction of newer technologies such as machine learning, AI and 3D aligned with AR and VR. “Right now, they are being used at the retail level, but will soon enter supply chain and product development stages.”

Backbone’s plans to connect all siloed product data into one central repository will enable the software to make predictive solutions that will mitigate risks in regards to quality, scheduling, and budgeting. This will ensure suppliers, factories, and internal teams are always on the same page.

Company
Backbone PLM

Headquarters
Boulder, CO

Management
Matthew Klein, CEO and Co-founder

Description
Offers an all-in-one design collaboration tool that allows users to create and manage tech packs, store artwork and project files, manage revisions and costing, and share updates — from anywhere, on any device

Backbone PLM