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June 12th, 2018

KEEN, Inc. Steps into Success with Centric Software

CAMPBELL, Calif., June 12, 2018 – KEEN, Inc. (KEEN), the Portland, Oregon-based manufacturer and retailer of shoes, sandals, boots, bags and apparel, has successfully gone live with Centric Software’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, luxury and consumer goods companies to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.

KEEN’s success was kick-started by the hybrid Newport sandal, which hit footwear markets in 2003. Since then, KEEN has skyrocketed its growth and now produces a large range of outdoor, work, kids and adventure wear, from bags to clothing and socks to work boots to children’s shoes. KEEN products are sold in stores across the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia, as well as online. With a strong commitment to environmental causes, KEEN is a value-driven organization that is proud to promote quality, integrity, health, caring and a pioneering spirit.

KEEN selected Centric PLM in the summer of 2017, following a democratic selection process that involved input from every team in the company. Focusing on core operations such as merchandise planning, calendar management and materials libraries in the initial phase, KEEN kicked off their implementation of Centric 8 in June 2017. The project was completed in just seven months, going live according to schedule in January 2018.

“We decided to invest in Centric PLM because we had reached a point in our growth cycle where we needed a foundation system to scale up the business,” says Hari Perumal, KEEN’s Vice President, Global Technical Operations. “We had been working with spreadsheets, emails, Word documents and line drawings, but that made it very difficult for people in different parts of the world to communicate and manage their workflows. We wanted people to be able to log-in to the system and immediately see their priorities for the day. We have global manufacturing, sourcing and distribution operations that need proper support.”

Perumal continues, “From a business intelligence point of view, we needed a PLM solution that would allow us to identify and solve problems early on. For instance, we wanted to be able to examine the ‘long tail’ of SKUs. As many businesses experience, 20 percent of the SKUs generate about 80 percent of the revenue. We knew Centric PLM could help us figure out how to maximize profit from well-performing SKUs and cut short the development process of ones that weren’t doing well, so we could save time and money by minimizing extra stock.”

KEEN selected Centric PLM because of its user-friendliness and the depth of Centric Software’s knowledge about PLM for apparel and footwear. As Perumal points out, these aspects of Centric have been apparent throughout the implementation.

“Centric is very intuitive to use, which has made it easy for our teams to get to grips with the new system,” says Perumal. “Centric has been through similar implementations with several other footwear companies, so they have tons of lessons and best practices to pass on to us. We knew when we selected Centric PLM that we would be getting out of the box features that are informed by their deep knowledge of PLM for footwear, and the Centric team has helped us to leverage those features for the best possible results.”

Perumal goes on to say Centric PLM has already had a positive impact on the quality of data by centralizing disparate data sources.

“Preparing to implement Centric Software specifically into our global product development arena has forced us to consolidate and standardize many foundational data depositories along the way,” adds Perumal. “For KEEN, that has meant pulling together thousands of otherwise disparate data points into our first ever digital material library.  This in and of itself has been a massive accomplishment for our business and most importantly for our developers. If we hadn’t had Centric to force our hand in this process, it may never have happened. This library is a gift for our developers sprinkled all over the globe to be able to utilize with ease and confidence as they build their spec sheets.”

“We’re delighted that KEEN is already reporting positive results following the successful implementation of Centric PLM,” says Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software. “KEEN is at an exciting stage of growth and we are very pleased to be part of their strategy. We are confident that Centric will continue to effectively support KEEN’s operations as they evolve, and we are looking forward to working with KEEN on the next stage of their PLM project.”


KEEN, Inc. (

Driven by a passion for life outside, KEEN is a values-led, independently owned brand from Portland, Ore., that’s on a mission to create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outside adventure. Founded in 2003, it launched a revolution in the footwear industry with the introduction of the Newport adventure sandal and has donated more than $15 million to non-profit organizations and causes around the world to promote responsible outdoor recreation, including conservation efforts to protect open spaces. KEEN strives to show the world through its products and its actions that a business for good can actually be good for business. By giving back, reducing impact, and activating communities and individuals to protect the places where we work and play, KEEN puts its values in motion and takes action to leave the world a better place. Learn more at


Centric Software (

From its headquarters in Silicon Valley and offices in trend capitals around the world, Centric Software provides a Digital Transformation Platform for the most prestigious names in fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor and consumer goods.  Centric Visual Innovation Platform (VIP) is a visual, fully digital collection of boards for touch-based devices like iPad, iPhone and large-scale, touch-screen televisions. Centric VIP transforms decision making and automates execution to truly collapse time to market and distance to trend. Centric’s flagship product lifecycle management (PLM) platform, Centric 8, delivers enterprise-class merchandise planning, product development, sourcing, business planning, quality, and collection management functionality tailored for fast-moving consumer industries. Centric SMB packages extended PLM including innovative technology and key industry learnings tailored for small businesses.

Centric Software has received multiple industry awards, including the Frost & Sullivan Global Product Differentiation Excellence Award in Retail, Fashion, and Apparel PLM in 2016 and Frost & Sullivan’s Global Retail, Fashion, and Apparel PLM Product Differentiation Excellence Award in 2012. Red Herring named Centric to its Top 100 Global list in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

Centric is a registered trademark of Centric Software. All other brands and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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