Only sportspeople, adventurers and outdoor workers used to wear outdoor gear. Items needed to be functional and fit for purpose. Customers had a choice between a few tracksuits and one type of backpack. But at some point in the last decade, outdoor clothes made specifically for outdoor activities crossed over into everyday fashion. Today, wearing your waterproof running jacket or hiking backpack to the grocery store is not uncommon.
A traditional outdoor industry product lifecycle is too long to facilitate innovation and quality control while satisfying a constant desire for new products. Outdoor brands need to operate at maximum efficiency and gain full visibility and control of each and every product. Discover how to get a leg up on the competition with Centric Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)!
Read our top 5 reasons why PLM can help you stay ahead of the race:
- PLM frees up time
When your products have to reach increasingly high standards of design, quality control and speed to market, it’s not always possible to pull in more resources such as additional employees. PLM frees up people’s time because it streamlines all your product-related data into one easy to use solution, eliminating time spent searching for information, cleaning up manual errors and reducing the number of meetings as everyone can access the information they need. This extra time means everyone can focus on value-added tasks, such as creating technically refined, functional products. Centric customer Marine Layer now saves 10-15% of staff time on a day-to-day basis because people don’t have to waste time searching for the right information.
- PLM enables you to meet compliance standards
It’s important for your company’s reputation and legal liability that your products meet compliance guidelines. Did you know that with a modern PLM solution, you can set requirement benchmarks so you’re confident that each product meets the standards it needs to? Even if you’re dealing with different international standards, you can factor those in. When external checks are performed, all the information required is right in front of you. No more double guessing!
- PLM improves visibility during product development
Developing products that tick all the boxes – function, style, quality and price – requires a transparent process that helps you make decisions along the way that will optimize your products. PLM provides just that! Outdoor brand Camelbak used Centric PLM to create a library of over 3,000 discrete materials, giving the company unprecedented visibility into available materials during product development. Effectively testing products is another important part of product development. That’s why Centric developed the Field Testing mobile app that enables outdoor brands like On Running to test the performance of products in real time, receiving fast and accurate feedback in order to make improvements before products hit the market.
- PLM makes collaboration easy
How you communicate and work with other departments, suppliers and manufacturers impacts on costs and time to market. Communicating by email and phone can often result in endless back and forth messages, with changes missed and errors more likely to occur. When everyone is connected through PLM, product information is centrally accessible in one location and updated in real time to give all users a ‘single source of the truth’. All parties are on the same page, cutting down on errors due to miscommunication. Better internal and external collaboration has concrete results: for instance, outdoor brand Klim streamlined communication with their factories using Centric PLM and reduced sample lead time by 25%.
- PLM speeds time to market
So you’ve got a great product, you’re using the latest innovations to stand out in the marketplace and the price and quality fit the bill. PLM helps you get the right products to market faster so you can stay ahead of your competition. Robust calendar planning capabilities and enhanced transparency at each stage of the product lifecycle means that product launches are less likely to slip behind schedule. Bottlenecks can be flagged and addressed proactively in good time so that you can get your products to market as soon as possible.