By now our industry is pretty well acquainted with the concept of product lifecycle management. Whether it be hardgoods, softgoods, accessories, action cams or gaiters, each individual category has it’s own complexities and engineering challenges.
In a precursor to SIA member Centric PLM’s upcoming June 8th webinar, I sat down with their own Matt Nakari and asked him a few questions about software implementation and the lifecycle uniqueness of our industry.
What are some of the benefits of a properly implemented PLM system?
Matt Nakari: Benefits are multiple and far reaching – one of the greatest immediate benefits is that you save time by having all of your product data in one place. Getting rid of the hell of multiple spreadsheets not only saves work hours to any person involved product development, design, manufacturing, marketing and any other department that revolves around product but also reduces the risk of errors with a single, actionable version of the truth. This means increased efficiency, less waste, more new products to marketand faster time to market.
How can it enhance how a company operates?
Matt Nakari: In every way possible – by reducing errors, shortening time to market, giving true and overall visibility into costing, strengthening vendor relationships, reducing the overload of ’status’ meetings…. – This results in better designed, more efficiently developed, better positioned product created by happier, more efficient, less overworked/stressed people…Which means a faster growing, more profitable company!
You can manage a company to a certain point by Excel, Powerpoint and your email inbox, but at some point you will find yourself spending more time arguing about what data is ‘right’ than creating awesome product. The best time for PLM is before that happens, but that point always sneaks up on you. There’s an old Chinese saying: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
What is one of the biggest misconceptions in implementing PLM software?
Matt Nakari: One of the biggest misconceptions is thinking that your company has to be huge, with a massive IT department for PLM to make sense. That may be true for traditional PLM vendors, which were designed to work on a massive scale on massive products with long development cycles (airplanes, autos, etc. that can take 3-10 years to bring to market or more) but Centric was designed from the ground up to support Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies which tend to be smaller, faster to market and more passionate about the product they are making. We’ve specifically focused on the Outdoor and Ski industries simply because many of us share a passion for that lifestyle. I myself spent 15 working in this industry! As a result, we have happy customers ranging in size from 4 users to several hundred, some of them have development cycles as short as a few weeks, and bring 10+ “seasons” to market each year….
Is there anything in particular about the snow sports industry PLM that stands out to your team?
Matt Nakari: We love this industry, not only do we share a passion for snow and outdoor lifestyles, we have a passion for the products and people who make them. Most SIA companies have a product development lifecycle that stretches out to 12-18 months – which isn’t technically necessary – we are helping several companies shorten that time line – why should you be designing and developing products for 2017 when you haven’t seen the results of 2016 yet? Shortening that time line is a major challenge, involving all aspects of a company, but PLM is part of the solution.
If your product development is being thwarted by spreadsheet madness or if you feel fed up looking for information in multiple places, join our Truth and Dare PLM webinar on June 8. Register here.
To learn more about Centric Software, please contact Matt Nakari, Regional Sales Director at Centric Software, [email protected].
About member company Centric PLM: Centric Software is a leading provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software for apparel, luxury goods and consumer goods companies. Centric 8 delivers easy-to-use functionality to manage critical, inseparable business processes, including product development, sourcing, line planning and profitability management, through a modularized system that implements and delivers value rapidly.