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Product Lifecycle Management: the Heart of Product Development

Despite all new technological innovations, the product remains at the heart of any activity and is the driving force behind a company’s success.

Managing its lifecycle is a constant challenge, especially in the fashion sector, where often products have a very short lifespan. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, these notions take on an even stronger dimension for this industry.

Founded in 1998 and based in Silicon Valley, Campbell, California, Centric Software® provides a Digital Transformation Platform for the most prestigious names in fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor, consumer goods and home décor.

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The company employs 450+ staff in 23 offices around the world, including nearly 200 fashion and retail Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) specialists who work to deploy and implement cutting-edge solutions for customers. Centric Software supports the digital transformation of 370+ customers representing 1,300+ brands worldwide. Among them are many renowned companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Uniqlo, Tesco, Auchan, Under Armor, The Gap, Inc., Broteks (Bro Global), Ebebek, The Woody Group and Louis Vuitton. Since 2018, Centric Software is majority-owned by the Dassault Systèmes group, a world leader in computer-aided design and product lifecycle management (PLM) software.

A wide range of specialized solutions
The core Centric Software offering is based on a cloud-based, collaborative PLM platform that centralizes all product-related data. This easy-to-use and quick to deploy tool is implemented to manage merchandize planning, product specifications, materials, procurement, cost scenarios, collection management and schedules as well as quality. It enables brands and manufacturers to dramatically reduce time to market and increase product sales while maximizing margins.

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In addition, Centric PLM™ is supported by 15 innovative mobile applications meeting the needs of the entire value chain. These mobile applications, integrated into the PLM solution, allow teams to continually stay connected, capture inspiration when it arises, manage product development at the right time and drive processes with confidence – regardless of where they are in the world. These industry-first mobile apps are even able to incorporate customer feedback in real-time (during test campaigns, for example).

With 2 major and 2 minor system releases per year, the C8 platform is infused with industry best practice and has benefited from continuous improvements since its inception. Since Centric PLM was launched, it has incorporated no less than 40 new releases, capturing constant customer feedback that drives the product roadmap and ensures the customers’ system is never outdated.

More recently, Centric Software launched the Centric Visual Innovation Platform (CVIP), a new fully-collaborative, highly visual and market-driven experience.

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The tactile user interface was inspired by the simplicity of social media applications but applied to the business world. It aims to revolutionize group decision-making in order to promote collaboration between different teams, even those based across different geographic locations. All the information is presented in the form of dashboards in order to provide an extremely simple user experience with the capacity to clearly present very complex information.

“The pandemic crisis we are going through has been a huge adoption accelerator for our solutions,” said Christophe Therrey, Vice President Sales EMEAR at Centric Software.
Over the past 3 months, many businesses have sought out collaborative digital transformation solutions (especially businesses where reluctance to onboard digital tools has persisted among some for years). To meet this demand, Centric Software has revolutionized the way solutions are deployed to support the needs of our customers and react to marketplace shifts.

In these disruptive and digitally-led times, businesses have to rise to the challenge and implement in two weeks what they were originally doing in three months, often 100% remotely. The long-term implications of travel and quarantine restrictions are forcing businesses to both completely reconsider their product lifecycle processes, and fundamentally rethink the experience and tools they offer their employees. The Centric Software innovation labs are in full swing to design, present and test new working approaches, enabling Centric customers to respond to this new way of working. 3D, artificial intelligence, and new integrated digital experiences such as CVIP are contributing to solutions never seen before.

However, the breadth of Centric’s large customer ecosystem is not overlooked. In order to diversify their offering, Centric Software designed Centric SMB. This cloud-based PLM platform is intended for small and medium-sized enterprises and offers affordable technology on a subscription basis, allowing emerging brands to benefit from the same cutting-edge technologies and industry know-how as large global brands.

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A history of groundbreaking innovations
Centric Software is a specialist in PLM software for the fashion and retail market, the goal being to offer its customers a solution that drives digital transformation and opens the door to many benefits including condensed time to market, increased accuracy and maximized sales. Drawing on its experience, the company is developing all of its solutions with a focus on ease of use and rapid deployment. With a customer satisfaction rate of nearly 99%, Centric Software takes pride in being a long-term, trusted technology partner, in tune with its customers’ requirements.

“Thanks to the combination of our expertise and that of our majority shareholder Dassault Systèmes, we have now set ourselves the objective of accelerating the development of innovations inspired by the market while helping our clients to increase their competitiveness across multiple sectors. Where the development of new products is subject to an extremely rapid pace (with styles becoming outdated very quickly) there is now a newfound ecological consciousness of consumers for whom the origin of products, their traceability, their carbon footprint and even their manufacturing processes have become as important as price or availability when it comes to making a purchase. We are witnessing the extremely rapid establishment of a new economy of the good, the beautiful and the responsible.” concludes Mr. Therrey.

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The legacy of Centric Software customers indicates that our next-gen digital tools enable them to support this trend by completely rebuilding their approach to product development. This is a great source of satisfaction for us as we are a major facilitator of their digital transformation.

From its headquarters in Silicon Valley, Centric Software provides a Digital Transformation Platform for the most prestigious names in fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor, consumer goods and home décor. Centric’s flagship Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) platform, Centric 8, delivers enterprise-class merchandise planning, product development, sourcing, quality and collection management functionality tailored for fast-moving consumer industries. Centric SMB provides innovative PLM technology and key industry learnings for emerging brands. Centric Visual Innovation Platform (VIP) offers a new fully visual and digital experience for collaboration and decision-making and includes the Centric Buying Board to transform internal buying sessions and maximize retail value and the Centric Concept Board for driving creativity and evolving product concepts. All Centric innovations shorten time to market, boost product innovation and reduce costs.

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