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April 3rd, 2020     4 MIN READ

#WFHtips: How to Implement Technology Remotely, by Laurent Dubuisson

In the first edition of our #HowTechHelps series, we presented 5 of our Centric Software® employees to you. As experienced #WFH team leaders, they shared some quick tips on how to stay effective while working remotely. 

In this piece, Laurent Dubuisson, VP EMEA, Client Services, digs deeper into how remote implementations are possible (and necessary), especially during this time of crisis when we’re all in need of strong digital foundations! 

The 3 things you need for a successful remote implementation 

Many companies in all corners of the world are being forced to send their employees home to work remotely. While this may be presenting major challenges for some, luckily at Centric Software®, things are business as usual…thanks to:

  1. 90% of employees already being used to working from home daily. 
  2. Our seasoned experience in remote software implementations.

Before confinement measures were put in place, more than 50% of our PLM implementation work was already being executed remotely! But today, 100% of the implementation work at Centric is done remotely.

Here’s how to achieve successful remote implementations:

1. Choose an out-of-the-box solution

Centric Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the backbone technology that drives all product-related activities from concept to retail, enabling digital transformation for over +1200 iconic brands, retailers and manufacturers worldwide. It is an out-of-the-box solution, which is highly configurable and easy to use!  

How does this enable successful remote implementation? 

With an out-of-the-box solution, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel when we start a project because the whole system is ready to be configured according to the users’ needs! We don’t need to start off with an empty slide to capture requirements, as everything is already there, ready for us to dig in right away. 

This also means we require a lot less involvement and time from the customer. We hold short meetings that are highly effective and user-friendly in a remote meeting environment. It makes the project real and operational as the customer’s teams can immediately have something tangible to “play” with

How about in the case of an update? 

Since the software is standard, the new features are easily implementable for everyone with minimal intervention. 

Centric PLM has hundreds of native, industry-focused built-in features that evolve every year. These range from mass BOM coloring for Leather Goods or CMT Cost scenarios for vertically integrated companies, to AQL Inspection. 

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2. Industry know-how: Experts in retail, fashion, luxury, footwear, outdoor, home décor & consumer goods

Isn’t it annoying when you have to explain what you do to a consultant? (Not to mention, time-consuming!). Understanding what FOB means, how grading works, what it means and implies when you buy the beiges, what the sample validation process or buying sessions entail… all of these are key to an easy and successful project implementation that suits your industry needs.  

At Centric Software, we are very proud to be a software vendor and integrator — we not only offer market-leading technologies, we implement them as well. We have more than 200 professional service consultants and just as many certified partner consultants with the best retention rate in the market. They all have years of experience in delivering business application projects — be it small, medium or large — for businesses in retail, fashion, luxury, footwear, outdoor, home décor and consumer goods! They all speak your specific language and understand where your pains lie.

How does this enable successful remote implementation?

When working together on a project, speaking the same business language makes a huge difference in saving time. This allows for shorter and more productive meetings and enables consultants to be proactive and propose solutions early on in the process. 

3. Agile Deployment™

Agile Deployment is a great way to involve users, improve user adoption and tailor your tool to your actual needs, step-by-step. 

What generally happens with a software implementation is that you spend 6 months writing specs, take a long time to develop it all, and then, you finally get to test it out. This implementation method can cause two problems. First, what you had in mind at first, when all said and done, may not actually be very operational or easy to use. Second, companies inevitably change and evolve — things may be different from when you started, impacting your processes.

Thanks to Agile Deployment, after a few 2-hour sessions, you are up and running with the first version, allowing you to test it out with your teams and tailor as you go. Involving all the different teams and giving them the possibility to try the software and see how it will look, allows you to say, “Actually, this doesn’t work for me this way, could we do this instead?…” This methodology revolutionizes the outcome of the project implementation.

How does this enable successful remote implementation? 

It all comes down to time. Everything is shortened. We organize short meetings to make sure that people are involved all the way through and are able to get what they actually need. It really has been a great success for our customers.

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