Iconic Canadian outdoor retailer establishes digital foundation for growth and increased margins
CAMPBELL, Calif., March 9, 2023 – Centric Software®, the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) market leader, is happy to announce that Mountain Equipment Company (MEC), Canada’s go-to outdoor retailer, has selected Centric PLM® for their business. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to plan, design, develop, source and sell products such as apparel, footwear, sporting goods, furniture, home décor, consumer electronics, cosmetics, food & beverage and luxury to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.
In 1971, a group of outdoor enthusiasts in Vancouver, British Columbia, couldn’t buy climbing gear in their city. So, they founded MEC where Canadians could get the specialized climbing equipment they needed. Today, MEC covers a wide variety of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, snowsports, watersports, cycling, trail running and travel.
MEC’s in-house brand, MEC Label, currently makes up around a third of all products sold by the retailer, with over 1,000 styles offered, from tents to base layers to infant onesies. The MEC team was looking to more easily manage the high number of MEC Label products launched in a year. When J.P. Roy, Senior Director, MEC Label, joined MEC in 2021, he found that the legacy PLM system was not set up for productivity.
Roy says, “It’s a complex business with high output, and we needed a system that supports a small, ambitious, hardworking team. Initially, while we wanted to avoid changing the system because it’s a lot of work for the team; we had to balance that decision with whether the short-term pain is worth the long-term efficiency gains. Inevitably, we decided that we had to switch to a new solution.”
MEC looked at several vendors and Roy, having worked with different PLM solutions throughout his career, had a high opinion of Centric going in, based on experience: “It’s not the cheapest, but it is the most complete. Centric provides a single source of truth for product and helps avoid inevitable errors from people working outside of the old system in Excel where everyone could make changes to documents.”
Roy also wanted to standardize the cost breakdowns and cost sheets and needed to be able to get vendor quotes quickly and easily. He says: “A big reason for a new PLM solution was margin improvement, gained through efficiency in back-end operations like sourcing and getting competitive vendor quotes on a single style. “
Because of the company’s varied offerings, MEC works with approximately 30 factories and 50 fabric mills. Roy says, “The new system gives us the ability to quickly and easily understand what fabrics are being used in which styles. We can also easily find the countries of origin for duty purposes because of CPTPP [Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership] agreements with certain countries and have visibility to get metrics on where each fabric is being used.”
MEC went live with Centric PLM in less than six months, on time and slightly under budget. They are taking full advantage of the many modules including Adobe Connect, allowing designers to work in their preferred environment. Another key aspect is timely, accurate information. Roy says, “The data integrity feeding our PO and ERP systems will give our cross-functional teams consistency and transparency, which is massive. All the teams’ lives will be easier with data that has a higher level of reliability.”
“We received phenomenal support from the implementation team. Centric has been one of the easiest software providers to work with thanks to their expansive knowledge and dedicated support,” adds Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Neeve Luthers.
President and CEO of Centric Software, Chris Groves, says, “I am honored that MEC, an iconic Canadian outdoor company, has selected Centric PLM as their digital product development foundation. I know we’ll be able to provide the functionality they need to continue a proud tradition of supplying Canadians with outdoor gear.”
Learn more about Centric PLM.
About MEC (www.mec.ca)
Established in 1971, MEC is Canada’s go-to place for technical outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration. Combining high-quality apparel and equipment with expert advice and firsthand experience, MEC supports a wide range of activities including camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, climbing, hiking, trail running and travel. For decades, MEC has been a strong backer of sustainability and community initiatives and has invested $48 million (and counting) into non-profit organizations that support outdoor recreation and conservation.
Centric Software® (http://www.centricsoftware.com/)
From its headquarters in Silicon Valley, Centric Software provides a product concept to launch platform for consumer goods such as fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor, consumer electronics, cosmetics & personal care and food & beverage. Centric Software’s flagship Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) platform, Centric PLM®, delivers enterprise-class merchandise planning, product development, sourcing, quality and product portfolio optimization innovations specifically for fast-moving consumer industries. Centric Visual Boards™ offer highly visual, touch-screen experiences for collaboration and decision-making. Centric Planning™ is an innovative, cloud-native, augmented-intelligence solution delivering end-to-end retail planning to maximize retail and wholesale business performance. Centric Pricing™, powered by StyleSage™, is an AI-driven market insight platform for data-informed decision-making on pricing and product assortments to maximize revenue and margins. Among many other market-driven innovations, Centric Software is widely known for its connectivity to dozens of other enterprise systems, including ERP, DAM, PIM, e-com and more, in addition to creative tools such as Adobe® Illustrator, a host of 3D CAD connectors and sustainability tools, such as HIGG. Centric Software has the highest user adoption rate, customer satisfaction rate and fastest time to value in the industry.
Centric Software is a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), the world leader in 3D design software, 3D digital mock-up and PLM solutions.
Centric Software has received multiple industry awards and recognition, including being named by Red Herring to its Top 100 Global list several times. Centric Software also received five excellence awards from Frost & Sullivan over the past decade.
Centric Software and Centric PLM are registered trademarks of Centric Software, Inc. In the US and other countries. All third-party trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.