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The Power of Remote Collaboration: Adapting to Marketplace Influences with Centric PLM and Centric Digital Boards


The market is constantly changing. With external factors such as the Coronavirus, changing tariffs, the climate crisis, Brexit and other political shifts affecting the product lifecycle, businesses need to be prepared with cutting-edge technologies and remote collaboration tools.

There’s never been a more essential time for retail, fashion, outdoor, footwear, luxury and consumer goods companies to arm themselves with digital transformation tools that empower employees to gain more visibility and better control of product development, streamline processes that have a direct impact on their bottom line and drive competitiveness in a fluctuating global marketplace.

Can’t travel?  You can still hold product reviews, design meetings, buying sessions and more – with the right tools!

How can Centric Software® help you to implement new digital collaboration initiatives or improve on current systems? Read on to discover more.

Support Workplace Collaboration

In one study, 80% of senior executives agreed that collaboration is essential for revenue growth, but only 25% described their organizations as ‘effective’ in sharing information across boundaries. With the recent Coronavirus epidemic and other global marketplace shifts, it has become clear to companies around the world just how business critical remote collaboration is. And it doesn’t just happen. It needs to be facilitated and nurtured with the right digital transformation solutions such as Centric Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and highly visual, digital boards. When implemented correctly, the benefits are enormous. According to one study, social collaboration technology can improve productivity related to information-gathering and communication by up to 35% and can raise overall productivity by up to 25%.

Choose the Right Solution

Choosing the right solution can be a challenge.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of using single-function solutions and ending up with a lot of disparate systems and messaging mediums. If your teams are simultaneously sending attachments in emails, participating in discussions on Slack and sharing documents in Dropbox, things will inevitably get missed.

Many companies are turning towards all-encompassing, integrated enterprise solutions that can handle all of the communication and collaborative work involved in product design, development and launch in a single digital space, such as Centric PLM.

Centric PLM™ provides the backbone for product-related processes from concept to retail. By providing the most up-to-date information in real time, PLM solutions eliminate version control errors and provide a ‘single source of the truth’. Because it contains all product-related data, tracks changes made to that data and empowers interactive communication that is visually linked to the product it refers to in real time, PLM is the ultimate collaborative tool, replacing the mix of emails, Excel spreadsheets, PDF attachments and instant messaging that many companies still rely on.

Centric customers also benefit from industry-first technology such as Mobile Apps. These apps empower remote working, significantly speed time to market, and reduce labour and raw material costs and other expenses. The Sample Review App is particularly useful when reacting to marketplace influences such as the Coronavirus; technical developers no longer have to attend physical fit meetings, rekey notes or even use paper versions of the tech pack to record results. With this app, they can remotely create style reviews, record notes, capture photos, and add annotations during the reviews. All the data is synced to the PLM system in the background, eliminating rework and eradicating bottlenecks!

Centric PLM

Game-Changing Digital Touchscreen Technology

However, for a lot of businesses, some processes still take place outside of traditional PLM solutions such as the earliest phases of design concept planning and ideation to regional, internal buying sessions from the global collection.

Fortunately, the borders of Centric Software’s technology continue to expand. Innovative, game-changing, collaboration tools such as Centric’s Digital Boards that can pull and push data to and from any PLM or PDM systems empower companies to better collaborate, combine expertise and speed group decision-making.

Empower Group Decision-Making with the Centric Digital Concept Board

By replacing processes that traditionally depend on paper and moodboards or combinations of Excel sheets and digital images, this family of highly visual, digital boards for touchscreen devices move decisions to a fully digitalized, collaborative experience. Take the pre-PLM process of design ideation. Whether you design and manufacture in-house, use suppliers to create products to your specifications or source finished products, there is likely to be some form of planning meeting where creative team members – artistic directors, designers, product developers, merchandisers and buyers – come together to define early plans and concepts for the latest collection.

Replacing physical, paper-based documents created during meetings with digital collaborative touchscreen boards that everyone can contribute to in real-time transforms the process of group decision-making. Team members can use master data from Centric PLM or other systems to begin building collections, keeping and discarding ideas, making notes, adding images with a simple drag and drop and taking actionable decisions immediately.

Transform Buying Sessions and Optimize Sell-Through with the Centric Digital Buying Board

Digital collaborative touchscreen boards can be extremely useful for merchandisers and buyers to increases sales opportunities and improve sell-through for wholesale, retail and e-commerce channels.

Replacing complex systems of comparing and combining Excel sheets, images and PDFs that are time-consuming and generate data errors and version control issues, Centric’s Digital Buying Board provides unparalleled transparency and real-time visibility in an easy to use space – on a tablet or a web browser – that can automatically roll up buying information and requirements for multiple channels.

By giving greater control to buyers and sales for product allocation by channel, region, wholesaler, store etc., not only do you increase the chances of a successful sell-through and a reduced risk of mark-downs but also pre-buy commitments are rolled up to proactively manage Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ), plan pre-production earlier and eventually better negotiate with suppliers.

Strategy to Drive True Collaboration

Centric’s Digital Boards are a family of digitally-connected, visual touchscreen boards that are an exciting development in optimizing group decision-making and collaboration when external factors such as quarantined staff and regulated travel come into play.

This, paired with the capabilities of Centric PLM, means that when businesses choose to partner with Centric Software, they choose to empower employees to work anywhere, anytime, they underpin smooth supply chain management with a single source of truth for product data maximizing visibility across the entire production process, and they prepare for the future by applying industry-first, Silicon Valley insights to business challenges.

All of this ensures they remain innovative, agile and, ultimately, profitable.