A Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution empowers companies to modernize their businesses and can be used to streamline the product development and procurement processes. During the pandemic, efficiencies are more important than ever for companies to remain competitive.
ebebek, a leader in Turkey for all mother and baby products, recently took a bold step towards modernizing their business processes with Centric PLM. We talked to Doğan Barış and Sinem Üçerebebek, Textile Category Managers at ebebek about why they chose Centric PLM™ and what the results have been.
DB: ebebek was founded in 2001 and currently has 175 stores, a highly active e-commerce site and a chain of stores focused entirely on the ages of zero to four. ebebek is essentially a baby supermarket and focuses on meeting all the needs of mother and baby. We are rapidly growing with goals to open 30 stores per year, reach a total of 270 stores and expand internationally. I have been managing the textile category in ebebek for about seven years.
SÜ: I have been with ebebek for about five years and have mastered all of the processes in the textile side of the business. I can say that Centric PLM has been a great innovation for us.
DB: We found that although we were working hard, we were lacking in organization. We were managing supplier communication and internal design processes with emails and Excel. Looking back, these were time-consuming and confusing processes, especially if we were looking for product and pricing information. We also often found errors and omissions in our Excel files.
When we first discovered PLM, we realized we could manage all product data information in one place, eliminate Excel and e-mail traffic, and streamline product development processes from ideation to sales. So, we started working with Centric.
Now, we can easily access every detail of a product from ideation, to development, to iterative processes. This is a huge necessity.
DB: Our top-level decision maker was keen on implementing Centric PLM from the start. When I delivered a presentation about the challenges we faced in the textile category and potential solutions, he told me about Centric. When we discovered the functionality and power of Centric PLM, I knew it had everything we were looking for.
We delivered presentations to the relevant departments and team members at ebebek, essentially speaking to everyone in the business who would be impacted and shared the pain points Centric PLM could solve. The most important person to convince was our General Manager and once we had his buy-in, the process accelerated. People who had concerns in other departments began to be persuaded. It was a long process and an intense undertaking to get the initial buy-in.
The persuasive power of numbers
DB: Part of our strategy was that we conducted a return on investment (ROI) study with Centric. The numbers and the data were so compelling that it was impossible for team members not to be convinced of the value of Centric PLM. When you present the business case through numbers and ROI, there is not much to object to.
Implementing PLM during a pandemic
SÜ: We began the Centric PLM implementation analysis in November and prepared a rollout calendar. After the pandemic hit, we remained focused and worked quickly and intensely.
Meetings using Centric’s online platform were efficient and worked well for our teams. Stakeholders outside of the textile division were also able to participate as users and viewers. Everyone was able to understand the details of the PLM system and we were working for two to three days a week on the project.
We were able to test functionality and identify shortcomings and were also able to record the trainings and trials. We completed the project completely one week before our targeted transition date.
Projects like this can involve disagreement between stakeholders. We acted as a team and focused on gaining mutual understanding and agreement. The Centric team provided great support to help us deliver the project on time. We were able to reach resolutions quickly and take action. Everyone executed on their roles and we were very pleased with Centric’s communication and technical support. We felt like Centric was part of the ebebek team.
With PLM, a one-week process was reduced to 1-2 days
We went live with Centric PLM in July. Shortly after, we realized a 50% increase in productivity and a 50% decrease in error rate. We are currently completing our work twice as fast.
Data issues have been resolved and communication with suppliers has been streamlined. Updated product information is available to suppliers immediately with Centric PLM. In the past it was time consuming for us to provide our suppliers with the information they needed. With Centric PLM, every change we make is instantly available to suppliers and this allows them to move quickly. It is very important to get a fast turnaround in the production cycle and this is working well for our suppliers.
Previously, we had issues with data integrity and storage when using Excel. Now, with PLM, we can access the data we need immediately and generate accurate reports. Document storage and archiving is simple with PLM and teams can easily access every document they need.
Supplier meetings have also started to take less time. With PLM, the confusion has disappeared, we can see all of the information and clarify pricing and details easily and efficiently run meetings. A process that used to take us a week has been reduced to one to two days with Centric PLM.
DB: Centric is visionary and Centric PLM has the power to do so much. It is accessible with mobile devices, it is user-friendly, and it can be easily customized by user and department. Centric PLM contains integrated modules for financial planning, shipment and quality control, which we needed.
Our communication with the Centric team was exceptional and they explained everything to us very clearly. During the presentations and meetings we had, we realized that many companies around the world were using Centric PLM and world-renowned brands had positive experiences.
Our project with Centric is one of those rare projects where I have not been disappointed. Whatever we hoped to achieve with Centric PLM is happening and that makes me very happy. Prior to Centric, we had projects that we were excited about, but experienced disappointment and issues with integration. But our journey with Centric has been a healthy partnership and we have not been disappointed.
SÜ: Centric PLM is such an open platform for development and our stakeholders have supported this rapid integration and innovation. Our team members are very familiar with Excel and ERP systems and have used them for years. With Centric PLM, everyone was excited to move away from those systems and be rid of the data integrity issues they caused.
Data transfer challenges
DB: Data transition is a difficult process, but compared to our past experiences, with Centric, I can say that this process was simplified. With product development, there are many materials you define, from the zipper to the fabric. You must ensure you transfer all product data correctly as the slightest changes impact the entire product.
With Centric, this is captured and you can easily define product materials in the system, which provides a great advantage. After going live with Centric PLM, we saw improvements with data transfer and have taken a big step towards healthy data management.
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