“We feel very strongly supported by the Centric CAMS support team. Any time we have an issue, we can get an answer immediately. We have the support when we need it. It is the greatest benefit, I think!”
“Besides acting as our PLM IT arm, we benefit from Centric’s knowledge, experience and expertise acquired from hundreds of PLM customers and implementations.”
Jyrina Volmer, IT Coordinator for Product Development and Manager of Software Engineering at Ernsting’s family, describes the nature of the role that Centric Application Management Services (CAMS) is providing for their company. “We made the strategic decision to use CAMS for PLM-related IT support. We could have built the expertise internally within our software engineering department, but it would take time, therefore the service that Centric CAMS support provides to us right now is critical.”
Ernsting’s family had an in-house-developed product data management system that served them well for a number of years, but certain departments were not digitally tied in. Today, the whole product development workflow is connected from design to product development to category management, quality assurance and procurement. How was this streamlined process achieved?
The company was founded in 1967 by Kurt Ernsting in Coesfeld-Lette, Germany where the headquarters still are. It grew to become one of the largest cross-channel providers in the German textile retail sector. Ernsting’s family offers clothing, lingerie, accessories and home & lifestyle products for the whole family. They sport 7 brands at affordable prices across 1,900+ stores across Germany and Austria and an online site.
Their legacy in-house product data management (PDM) system did not cover all areas of the product development process. Design, Technical Design and Quality Assurance were working in other tools and Fitting Development was on a separate fileserver. Product information was spread out. As the collections grew, Ernsting’s family sought a new system that would make the whole workflow more transparent and encompass all departments including suppliers. Volmer says, “A new approach was needed for the entire process from product development to category management to technical design and procurement.” The challenge was to integrate Centric PLM into the existing IT landscape as well as the in-house-developed PDM system.
Ernsting’s family selected Centric in 2017 to support their rapid growth, improve collaboration among all stakeholders, tighten up their quality process and rid themselves of data redundancy to focus on designing and developing collections.
After a successful Centric PLM implementation in 2017, Ernsting’s family decided to take their partnership with Centric Software® one step further. Because they did not want to build technical PLM support team in-house, Ernsting’s decided to enlist Centric Application Management Services (CAMS), a structured approach personalized to the unique requirements of each company. CAMS brings in consultancy and Centric PLM-configuration expertise as well as industry best-practices to the business, specific ways of working or other special needs, especially as the company (and processes or partners) evolves over time.
Together with the CAMS team, Ernsting’s optimized their workflows. By not having to solve technology problems, the German company is better able to focus on the work at hand.
With the Centric CAMS backing, day-to-day PLM operations run smoothly. Describing her interaction with the team, Volmer says, “It’s a very structured way of working. We feel very strongly supported by the Centric CAMS team. Any time we have an issue, we can get an answer immediately. We have the support when we need it. It is the greatest benefit, I think!”
CAMS guides users on the most efficient ways to work inside Centric PLM so everything is as streamlined as possible. In addition to resolving daily requests coming from the business units and improving product quality through access to new features, better planning and scheduling are also now possible as is the ability to test systems in advance to make sure they work during implementation. Installation is done in the evenings or on weekends where possible, preventing downtime and product development project interruptions, keeping time-to-market schedules intact.
There is high user acceptance. Ernsting’s family’s decision to put the Centric CAMS team in place is working well. With Centric PLM CAMS support, Ernsting’s family teams are free to concentrate on better satisfying market demands.
The real value of CAMS is the external expertise and experience that Centric has, owing to their knowledge of the software and having done so many implementations at similar, but different, kinds of companies producing similar, but different, categories of products. Centric has the advantage of knowing best-practices for a multitude of situations. The cooperative partnership between Centric and Ernsting’s family is one that will benefit both companies for years to come. Volmer says, “We consider Centric CAMS to be part of our team.”