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Arc’teryx adds Centric Visual Boards and 3D enablement after increasing speed-to-market with Centric PLM

An outdoor apparel and equipment company expands partnership with Centric Software to add Centric Visual Boards and 3D capabilities after increasing speed-to-market with Centric PLM.

“ The Merchant and Design teams have had their eye on [Centric Visual Assortment Board] for years. We’re just so excited that we are taking this step! ” — Karen Keane, Senior Manager of Information Systems, Product & Brand at Arc’teryx


  • Duplication of work
  • Errors due to manually updating multiple systems
  • Manual visual line planning was slow
  • Sampling took much time and resources
  • Transparency of progress through seasonal work


  • PLM as a single source of truth eliminates work duplication
  • Errors are greatly reduced
  • Using Centric Visual Assortment Board will cut down on time and work for product teams
  • Designing in 3D from the start reduces sampling and speeds timeline by not having to wait for color team

“A core process for building a product line is visually grouping products. Today, it takes hours to build out the visual line plans manually, and to update that data when we make a change to the plan—in multiple systems and then communicate to each stakeholder group that a change has been made. It’s incredibly manual.”

Karen Keane, Senior Manager of Information Systems, Product & Brand at Arc’teryx, describes the situation that led to adding Centric Visual Boards™ to their stable of Centric software®­­­­ solutions. “We saw the power with the filtering within Centric as being a great benefit, with having all the data connected.” The expectation after implementing Centric Visual Assortment Board is building next season’s assortment and visual line plans in an integrated visual space. “We will save time and drive efficiency into the process. The business teams can’t wait to have an ease and fluidity of calling out product through activity collections, assortment filters, product categories, genders, regions, all linked with attributes and tags, removing the incredible depth of manual work.”

A Global Company

Established in 1989 and based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Arc’teryx creates high-performance outerwear and equipment, globally.

A Long and Fruitful Association

Arc’teryx saw the need to centralize product data, reduce duplication of work, cut down on errors through a single source of truth. Keane explains, “We had no system for product development, only the BOMs that were included in our (then) in-house built ERP which we were not able to adapt to our business processes—this meant we were living in spreadsheets. We needed a system to house all our product-related tracking, communication, and decisions.” After implementing Centric PLM in 2018, Keane says, “Our speed to market has increased and Centric played a big role in enabling that. Centric PLM has given us the visibility that we need.”

The use is wide-spread throughout the product teams. “The overall benefit is the single source of truth that Centric provides. And we keep pushing towards that goal.” Arc’teryx has upgraded to newer releases of Centric PLM over the years to take advantage of the innovative features each time.

Fully Integrated

Centric PLM is integrated with multiple business systems. Keane says, “We send SKU data to our ERP, to our planning tool and are also integrated with a PIM system that feeds our website plus another tool for wholesale. We’re also working on a data warehouse that Centric PLM will feed.”

“Centric is our data source; from style creation, assigning product attributes to creation of SKUs. So PLM is really the upstream of what we are going to build and how we are going to build it. And then anything transactional or to do with selling gets that information from Centric PLM.”

The Third Dimension

“We have been working in 3D for years and are excited to implement the latest features that Centric offers. “Centric is thinking about how to integrate 3D, in a way that improves the workflow for teams. We can then take advantage of these features, without inventing them ourselves.”

For example, 3D Centric PLM users can download, store and search Alvanon avatars (virtual AlvaForms) directly from Centric PLM libraries to use in their 3D tool. “We are excited to take advantage of this feature,” says Keane. “It will allow us to house the Avatar library in Centric in a visual, searchable UI, that is also available in our 3D program. Avatars are the true starting point for 3D product development.”


Keane addresses environmental concerns. “Sustainability is very important to our brand. We’re looking into implementing some of the sustainability features of Centric PLM to help with the tracking. The goals for the system are being developed. On the 3D side, PLM does have an immediate impact because we can reduce our sampling by using 3D.”

The Visual Assortment Board

Centric’s Visual Assortment Board, part of the Centric family of Visual Boards, empowers buyers, merchants, designers, planners, sourcing, sales and retail teams to view an assortment strategically, in a visual pivot table fashion, to strive for optimal performance at retail and a coherent brand experience across all channels. Keane says, “We’re so excited about this technology. We saw early concepts years ago; it was always on our mind just how cool it was and what a great tool it would be for our product teams. Being able to create line plans through a connected system is going to be just so huge!”

Keane discusses the steps leading up to getting the Visual Boards. “To bring Centric Visual Boards on we had a series of workshops with our Centric rep. He did a fantastic job with personalized demos for us. We really wanted it. The problem was that it was overlapping with our ERP implementation and we knew we had to focus to get that up and running. But the merchant team has had their eye on this for years. We’re just so excited that it’s actually happening!”

Going into more detail, Keane says, “We’ve tried different solutions; there are maybe some advantages to using a whiteboarding tool but it doesn’t have the integrated data or all of the features—even last year when we had our demos, we gave feedback to Centric on things that we wanted, and they’ve already actioned them! Now there are already these additional features that are just perfect for what we need.

Our Centric rep is so knowledgeable, he knows this space inside and out. He brings a wealth of industry knowledge—it’s like he knows what we want the system to do, even before we do!”


“We’re keeping our scope tight, because we want to get this up and running quickly,” Keane says. “Our first goal is time savings—build visual line plans in Centric for the next season—that’s going to be the kickoff. Our second goal is some specific report outputs—reports that used to take hours will take minutes. We are already planning our next releases, that will include some game changing features for our teams to leverage.”

Making Teams Happy

Keane discusses other benefits of Centric Visual Boards. “In our business case, it was key to reduce the amount of time needed to prepare the visual line plans but also to lighten the load on the teams of aligning data and manual updates across different systems. The system will provide easy ways to check work and catch errors. Our teams want to focus on strategy, not data alignment! It’s going to be really helpful.”

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