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June 26th, 2024

Zak Designs Leverages Centric PLM for Strategic Growth

Mealtime Ware Company Automates Processes to Drive Efficiency

CAMPBELL, Calif., June 27, 2024Centric Software® is pleased to announce that the hydration company Zak Designs has selected Centric PLM™ to drive efficiency into their business. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to plan, design, develop, source, buy, make, price, allocate, sell and replenish products such as fashion, outdoor, luxury, multi-category retail, grocery, food & beverage, cosmetics & personal care and consumer electronics to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.

Headquartered in Airway Heights, Washington and established in 1976, Zak Designs creates kitchen hydration and mealtime products featuring on trend designs and everyone’s favorite characters. Over the years, the company has grown into a $100+ million business. Zak Designs sells its products through various channels, including mass-market retailers, clubs and online platforms.

With organic growth and about 2000 active SKUs, came growing pains. Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Perkins describes the situation prior to Centric PLM. “The level of manual data entry and interfacing with multiple departments is time-consuming nonvalue add work.  Data entry mistakes along with multiple departments entering the same data, create data integrity issues.” This led to wasted time, rework and double and triple-checking parts of the process.

Says Perkins, “We could have continued to operate as we were, but we’re driving towards significant growth over the next five years. We needed to simplify our structure without adding a lot of headcount.”

As the executive sponsor of the PLM implementation project, Perkins remarks, “Obviously there was no reason for us to live in this complex universe. We put out the call for PLM proposals.” Zak Designs was thorough and systematic with their approach. To determine what the company needed, the team took a step back, and mapped out current processes in detail, plus identified all their pain points. The selection process was equally thorough, engaging the entire core team and a tech consultant. Five companies were invited to bid.

“Key stakeholders played an important role in the decision-making; it was an inclusive process,” says Perkins. “Ultimately, the team unanimously decided that Centric PLM was the one we wanted.”

Centric PLM will be used across different teams such as industrial design, engineering, product development, marketing, graphic studio teams and sourcing partners.

As an international company, Perkins notes, “The language capabilities, version control, importation of data and integration with other systems in our global network were all factors in choosing Centric PLM.”

Phase 1 of their Centric PLM project is already live. The creation of a new product that requires an original mold used to involve a total of 84 spreadsheets. Now that has all been eliminated along with some of the more tedious work. “Item set-up for us was very complicated with multiple steps, taking a team of two about 2-3 hours,” Perkins says. “With Centric in place, we simply have to push a button—that is immediate payback in time saved.”

Perkins mentions another benefit. “The ease with which we can find information is vastly improved. I can just pull a mold up, and see everything that’s been created for it to determine what I want to use. It saves days, and that’s a lot of time in our world.”

Perkins’ advice to other companies looking to implement a PLM solution, “First of all, absolutely do it! But make the effort to really work it through with your key stakeholders and the Centric team to make the right decisions for your business.”

President of Centric Software, Fabrice Canonge says, “It is always exciting to witness the transformation from manual systems to automated workflows. We are grateful that Zak Designs has placed their trust in us; I know that their needs will be met.”

Learn more about Centric solutions

Zak Designs (

Since 1976, Zak Designs has been committed to bringing everyday smiles to people around the world. Whether it’s through characters that bring us a bit of joy or uplifting colors and graphics, Zak’s products warm our heart and brighten you day.

A smile seems like such a simple thing that it’s almost easy to overlook how incredibly powerful it truly is. Try being angry while you’re smiling. Or upset. Or frustrated. The longer you smile, the happier you become. It’s a scientific fact. Or, if it isn’t, it should be.

The true magic of a smile, though, isn’t what it does for you, it’s what it can do for someone else when you pass it on by simply wearing it as a badge of honor across your face. Like the proverbial pebble thrown into a pool of still water, the ripple effects of a shared smile spreads outward exponentially, and you’ll never have any idea how far they might travel. And it all starts with one smile.

It’s that ripple effect that zak! tries to create each and every day in homes around the world. Whether it’s a dinnerware set featuring a child’s favorite animated character, a water bottle that invokes nostalgia for a forgotten TV show, or even a splash of color that brightens up an intimate gathering of friends, zak! is focused on bringing everyday smiles to as many people as possible, in as many ways as possible.

That is the vision that Irv Zakheim had for his company when he founded zak! more than 45 years ago, and it’s the vision that continues to inspire us to this day. We constantly push ourselves to find innovative new products, the most popular characters children love, and the colors trends that instantly evoke powerful emotions all in the hopes of creating the kind of magical, contagious smiles that have the power to change the world. Or at least the world around you.

That’s what true joy is, and that’s what zak! has always been about.

Centric Software® (

From its headquarters in Silicon Valley, Centric Software provides an innovative and AI-enabled product concept-to-replenishment platform for retailers, brands and manufacturers of all sizes. As experts in fashion, luxury, footwear, outdoor, home and related goods like cosmetics & personal care as well as multi-category retail, Centric Software delivers best-of-breed solutions to plan, design, develop, source, buy, make, price, allocate, sell and replenish products.

  • Centric PLM™, the leading PLM solution for fashion, outdoor, footwear and private label, optimizes product execution from ideation to development, sourcing and manufacture, realizing up to 50% improvement in productivity and a 60% decrease in time to market.
  • Centric Planning™ is an innovative, cloud-native, AI solution delivering end-to-end planning capabilities to maximize retail and wholesale business performance, including SKU optimization, resulting in an up to 110% increase in margins.
  • Centric Pricing & Inventory™ leverages AI to drive margins and boost revenues by up to 18% via price and inventory optimization from pre-season to in-season to season completion.
  • Centric Market Intelligence™ is an AI-driven platform giving insights into consumer trends, competitor offers and pricing to boost competitively and get closer to the consumer, with an up to 12% increase in average initial price point.
  • Centric Visual Boards™ pivot actionable data in a visual-first orientation to ensure robust, consumer-right assortments and product offers, dramatically decreasing assortment development cycle time.

Centric Software’s market-driven, best-of-breed solutions have the highest user adoption rate, customer satisfaction rate and fastest time to value in the industry. Centric Software has received multiple industry awards and recognition, appearing regularly in world-leading analyst reports and research.

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