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Retail Product Development: 5 Ways Centric Software Changed the Game


The retail industry was already changing when the pandemic unfolded in rapid fashion, but experts today have realized this truth: the industry—and U.S. consumers—are still changing.

EY’s latest Future Consumer Index shares that consumer behaviors adopted during the pandemic now feel normal and that half of consumers say their values and the way they look at life have changed. This means that retail has changed forever—and it isn’t done evolving. To keep pace, retail product development must also adapt. As a retailer, it’s more critical than ever that you have a strong digital foundation in place to empower your business and strengthen your brand.

What is Retail Product Development?

Retail product development is the process of creating a new product, renewing an existing product, and bringing this product to the marketThis includes the ideation process, research, planning, 3D designs, sourcing, costs and retail strategy.

Centric PLM™ and Digital Boards drive digital transformation for retailers. Businesses are able to develop products in all categories of consumer goods across multiple collections, price points, geographies and channels faster. The result: lower costs and higher product margins while still meeting compliance standards to better compete in today’s accelerating marketplace.

How Does Centric’s Technology Suite Boost Product Development for Retail Businesses Across the Globe?

1. Retail Product Development is Smoother and Easier

With Centric’s Retail solutions, companies can take control of their merchandising planning. This is particularly business critical considering nearly 50% of new product introductions in the retail sector fail to meet sales targets. Differentiate yourself and take the guesswork out of product development by integrating merchandising planning with Centric PLM from the very start of product development. With the Merchandise Planning module, teams can create ‘what-if’ queries with the cost scenarios feature and automatically calculate how product costs affect margins and pricing. You can complete those mass updates with the click of a button, dramatically reducing margins for error. Additionally, visibility is increased from initial line plan proposal to sales commitments and recording of actuals.

2. It Enables Creativity

PLM systems and Digital Boards encourage remote collaboration from anywhere in the world—something that became especially important when retail product development teams were forced to work remotely and remain innovative. Not only can normal business operations continue without disruption, gone are the boundaries of creative limits. Teams can perform sample reviews, design reviews and buying sessions and collaborate for go-to-market meetings while working remotely around the globe. All product data and libraries are centralized, creating a real-time single source of truth so creative teams can do what they do best: develop and manage cutting-edge new collections. They can easily incorporate information from previous seasons and do field research without spending hours searching for data. Digital boards merge information from multiple systems and combine visuals and data to transform team collaboration and decision making.

3. Data is Secure and Safe

Secure data sharing is critical for innovation. With Centric’s Retail solutions, teams can easily control what they share with vendors and suppliers and rest assured that their data is safe and secure. You can grant and control access of individual users in an extremely flexible way, right down to custom attributes and permissions per user. This contributes to streamline retail product development and other workflows and better processes overall.

4. Real-time Analytics are Easy

Centric’s online pivot tool with real-time analytics allows users to filter and sort by any metric (e.g., country of origin of the three most recent seasons). This lets you identify trends and quickly spot exceptions by visual cue so that items with the largest financial impact are addressed first. Ultimately, this allows you to refine your business by improving margins.

5. Centric’s Retail Solutions Integrate with Existing Systems Easily

If you’re like most retailers, you likely have multiple systems in place, including an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to house your manufacturing operations. Or your design team may also use a 3D solution or a PIM or you may want to connect to your e-commerce site. Centric Software’ experts have a wealth of expertise when it comes to integrating Centric solutions seamlessly with already existing or new systems. Centric’s solutions were built hand-in-hand with leading retailers and system integrators around the world to ensure success.

Do you have a legacy PLM that needs replacement? We’ve got you covered! Centric has replaced hundreds of old PLM solutions around the world.

The retail landscape is complex and has had to adapt significantly in the last two years. Introducing Centric Retail solutions enables you to refine every stage of retail product development. With a digital platform in place, all categories of retailers can boost product innovation, improve supplier collaboration and product co-creation, ensure regional product compliance and quality, and speed time to market.