“ We can reduce the time it takes to complete the entire process from planning to development Product master data from Centric PLM is integrated with downstream systems, so we avoid duplicate maintenance of data in different systems. ”
“We had no standard solution – every division had a different system. Some subsidiaries were using spreadsheets, some were using different PLM-like systems, and our HQ was using a solution built in-house. The systems were not linked and data was mismatched.”
Gogo Tanaka, General Manager of Digital Supply Chain at ASICS explains that the global sportswear company needed to find a way to unite these disparate systems in order to improve collaboration and access to reliable, up-to-date product data, and turned to PLM for the solution.
Since implementing Centric PLM™ in 2016, thousands of users like merchandisers, product developers, external suppliers and more have one reliable source for all product data, enabling better collaboration and cutting time spent searching for information. In 2019, ASICS implemented Centric’s Visual Assortment Boards, empowering teams to automate line sheet creation and collaborate to visually create merchandising plans.
Today, ASICS is using Centric PLM and Centric Visual Boards™ across their two divisions – footwear and apparel & accessories – to navigate the new landscape of hybrid working, reducing physical meetings and replacing them with instant digital visual collaboration to streamline their product concept to launch process.
ASICS Corporation is a global designer and manufacturer of sporting goods including performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. The company was founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka. Inspired by the old Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano”, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”, his vision was to promote the health of young people through sport. ASICS remains committed to this philosophy and is renowned for its commitment to serving the needs of professional athletes and inviting more people to sports. The company is at the forefront of the performance sports market worldwide.
ASICS is a long-term Centric customer, having implemented Centric PLM in 2016.
Thousands of ASICS users across different international locations now work in Centric PLM every day, mainly in merchandising and product development. 80+ vendors from around the world are also connected to Centric PLM, facilitating better supplier communication and collaboration.
Centric PLM is used to manage an enormous amount of SKUs at ASICS – approximately 34,000+ per year – across both the apparel & accessories and footwear divisions. ASICS pushes information from Centric PLM to other systems such as their ERP solution to streamline and speed up the product development and launch process.
“We can reduce the time it takes to complete the entire process from planning to development,” says Gogo Tanaka. “Product master data from Centric is integrated with downstream systems, so we avoid duplicate maintenance of data in different systems.”
With Centric PLM in place, teams at ASICS have been able to eliminate unnecessary and repetitive data entry, replace disconnected systems with a single collaborative digital platform and improve the reliability and visibility of product data. With fewer errors and the ability to manage huge volumes of data, teams are able to streamline work throughout the product lifecycle even while product development timelines are shrinking.
“The big benefit is that we have one single source for product data. It means everyone can see the same data, and it’s of the same quality,” explains Takenobu Yamazaki, Team Manager at ASICS.
With Centric PLM working well for their worldwide teams, ASICS turned their attention to another issue. They found themselves creating many Excel sheets and PowerPoint decks to communicate global product assortments, requiring continuous manual updates and rework.
Teams spent weeks of time setting up for sample review meetings, involving thousands of SKUs. Presenting all products was impossible due to the cumbersome process of managing physical samples. Adapting products on the basis of colorway feedback from all the regions was very time-consuming and prone to errors.
ASICS realized that they needed a visually driven representation of the Centric PLM merchandising plan. They also wanted to automate line sheet creation and streamline the sample review process in order to quickly pinpoint the products most likely to sell and maximize the profitability of assortments across regions.
The answer? Centric Visual Boards.
ASICS implemented the Visual Assortment Board for PLM in 2019. Pulling and pushing data from PLM to present it in a dynamic visual format, the Visual Assortment Board enables teams to collaborate virtually to create actionable line sheets in real time using live PLM data. Using the digital board connects worldwide merchants more frequently, accelerating feedback from regional teams, and speeds up the time it takes to gather thousands of styles for review. Merchandisers can pivot information by delivery, store channels, sales region, color and more to visualize how various scenarios will play out in order to make better decisions and mitigate risk.
“I remember seeing our apparel merchandisers and development teams sitting together with a big board where they did all their merchandise mapping, using printed images,” says Orhan Guc, PLM Specialist at ASICS.
Post-pandemic, ASICS decided to maintain a hybrid working model. As they look to a future in which travel, physical meetings and physical samples are becoming increasingly unsustainable and uneconomical, Centric PLM and Centric Visual Boards empower remote working.
“We can decide to work from home or the office – wherever we can give the highest performance. As the foundation for product data that is accessible for all teams online, Centric PLM enables this new way of working. Onboarding users is straightforward, and teams can work more easily together to make important decisions.”
Committed to the idea that to achieve a sound mind in a sound body, we need a sound earth, ASICS has many sustainability initiatives underway. To reduce waste, ASICS needs a solid digital foundation to manage raw materials and products efficiently. Traceability of materials and supply chain visibility is critical, and ASICS needs to be able to accurately track materials through multiple supplier tiers and into thousands of different products.
Centric PLM’s position at the center of the product data ecosystem makes it the ideal foundation for managing sustainability projects, says Kenichi Katagiri, Assistant Manager at ASICS.
“Being able to access very detailed BOM information and track sustainability information for each material is at the core of our sustainability roadmap in the coming years,” says Katagiri. “Centric is the best partner for us to realize our sustainability goals.”