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Centric Tweaks PLM Offering for Work-From-Home Fashion Pros

Centric Software has a new solution for companies scrambling to prepare their teams to work from home as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic escalates.

The product lifecycle management (PLM) company launched a series of “quick-start online collaboration packages” on Wednesday to give brands, manufacturers and retailers a leg up in preparing their workforce for an extended stay away from the office.

“External influences make the marketplace increasingly unpredictable,” Chris Groves, president and CEO of Centric Software, said in a statement. “Our new packages have been developed in response to requests from our customers to be hyper-responsive to change.”

Centric’s software will run on a platform that functions as a “single actionable source of truth” to help teams run meetings and collaborate on digital work, Groves said. This includes PLM tasks like sample and design reviews as well as buying or go-to-market meetings.

More than just a way to outmaneuver the pandemic, the adoption of remote technology such as this will also serve to future-proof operations while cutting costs and time-to-market, Centric said.

“Our customers are looking for ways to stay operational while respecting health guidelines on social distancing, remote working and travel,” Ron Watson, vice president of product at Centric Software, said. “In response, we have created packages that enable remote work for sample and fit reviews, vendor collaboration and buying sessions.

“These can be implemented in days so that businesses can be agile and proactive, gain critical oversight and alter strategies quickly,” he added.

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The software will be split into three packages, each representing a different level of digital investment.

The first package provides solutions for companies new to remote collaboration or digital work. It includes digitized fit reviews and materials, as well as product sample reviews and vendor quote management. This package will use cloud-based technologies like mobile apps and 3D solutions and will include guidance on how to manage e-commerce fundamentals like online product reviews and images.

In the middle of the range is a package for companies with Centric PLM that do not yet fully collaborate with vendors remotely. It includes a second vendor collaboration package with industry-specific solutions for co-design, sample reviews, RFQ management, finalization, evaluation and assortment building.

Finally, companies that need a leg up in online buying can access the Centric Visual Innovation Platform (CVIP) to develop in-store, regional and global assortments, obtain regional feedback and finalize product quantity recommendations with the Buying Session Package.

“Most of our employees are still working from home,” said Fanny Fan of Chinese fashion brand Maxrieny’s merchandising department. “Members of all departments can enter, view and share information online at any time using up-to-date data resources to ensure efficient collaboration. Our R&D teams can follow the progress of all samples in real-time.”

Pattern and design software company, Tukatech, made a similar move earlier in March when it allowed users of its software to switch over to its cloud solution without additional cost—remarking “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” when it comes to keeping employees safe while remaining productive.