“We wanted to digitalize our artisan network in order to double the volume of sales, create continuity of performance and guarantee delivery times. We had a high turnover, but from a management point of view, we needed to revolutionize our IT architecture to maintain and increase that level of performance.”
Claudia Poli, SCM and Project Manager, PLM-CPQ at Visionnaire, immediately saw the need for digital transformation when she joined the Made in Italy luxury furniture company in 2017. Visionnaire soon embarked on an ambitious digitalization project that would integrate product data across a new Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution, a new Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solution and a legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.
Today, Visionnaire has successfully implemented Centric PLM and is on track to complete its revolutionary digital project in 2020. The high-end furniture-makers have aligned information throughout the organization with a single version of the truth, giving them instant control over collection development and greater versatility in the way they configure individual products and the manufacturing process.
How did Visionnaire successfully create an integrated product data infrastructure with the support of Centric PLM?
Uniqueness, contemporary style and a vocation for “Made in Italy” are at the core of the Visionnaire brand. The Italian label has rapidly positioned itself as a leader in the international luxury design scene, no longer seen as a mere furnishing project, but as a proposal for “full home design” needs, offering integral solutions for major home décor and furnishing projects: from private dream homes to public spaces such as hotels, restaurants, and luxurious clubs, covering all living areas, from the living room to the bedroom, all the way through to the bathrooms, the kitchen, and outdoor spaces.
Visionnaire is synonymous with high quality tailoring and manufacturing, representing the best of “Made in Italy”. The products are produced by the best Italian artisans who have been hand-picked by the company since 1959. Each piece is made and sewn by hand through long engineering processes that take place within the Maison’s design studio. The selection of materials and the development of new technologies have always represented an essential aspect of each of Visionnaire’s collections.
As Visionnaire grows, they need to continue to manage an enormous amount of data related to products, materials, suppliers and custom orders to produce and deliver high-quality luxury furniture to the market on time.
“We manage more than 3,500 catalog products, more than 1,500 fabrics and leathers, more than 5,000 wood lacquers, more than 130 marble and stone finishes, and 16 steel finishes,” explains Poli. “This is what our artisans face every time they set out to manufacture a Visionnaire product. We need to be able to coordinate and communicate product information efficiently with our skilled network of artisans to get products to market on time and remain competitive.”
“We got to the point where we were no longer able to keep up with demand and fulfill orders on schedule using our existing ERP and communication systems,” she continues. “This is a time of delicate balance for Visionnaire, as we are trying to increase production and sales volumes while maintaining our renowned quality and craftsmanship. We needed to find a technology solution that could provide us with the right architecture and tools to support our growth.”
Based on the advice of external consultants, Visionnaire began a total overhaul of its IT infrastructure. Following a thorough assessment of their existing processes and needs, an ambitious plan was developed to reduce the role of the company’s existing ERP solution in product data management and to fully integrate ERP with new PLM and CPQ solutions.
PLM was to become the repository and generator of product data across all parts of the organization. Working with their consultants to select a flexible, scalable solution that could be implemented easily and integrate smoothly with other enterprise systems, Visionnaire chose Centric Software’s Centric 8 PLM.
“Centric PLM offered us an immediate guarantee that we could gain control of the product development process,” says Poli. “We were impressed by Centric’s performance in the fashion sector and the solution’s ability to handle processes that are most relevant to the world of furniture. The solution could be adapted to our specific needs.”
“Centric PLM is very versatile, giving us the ability to start at different points in the product configuration process. This is particularly important for us as we offer finished catalog designs as well as products with varying degrees of customization, ranging from made- to-measure to highly bespoke pieces,” she continues.
Visionnaire completed its initial Centric PLM implementation and all of its 3,500 products will be fully live across Centric PLM and the company’s ERP and CPQ solutions by 2020. Centric PLM is now the single source of truth for product data and is used to handle all product-related processes from collection planning to final product development and launch.
“When we set out the strategic guidelines for this project, we noted the need for both upstream integration with showrooms, agents, retailers and architects in the sales and pre-sales process, as well as downstream integration with our supplier network from the moment a product is conceived, all the way through development and industrialization,” says Poli. “Centric PLM provides the foundation of real-time product data that is accessed and disseminated throughout all parts of the company, helping us to achieve this goal.”
“We used to have significant gaps in product know-how, a lack of historical materials information and difficulties in communication between designers and suppliers,” she continues.
As Poli concludes, Visionnaire expects to enjoy the benefits of Centric PLM’s ability to align information across different enterprise systems, departments and suppliers.
“As we begin developing collections using Centric PLM, we are looking forward to improved transparency of the collection calendar and workflows,” she says. “Online, real-time documentation in a shared digital space will keep our suppliers and customers up to date at all times. Bills of Material (BOMs) will be integrated and updated automatically, and we will be able to carry out real-time costing scenarios. Once connected with our CPQ solution, PLM data will be sent to CPQ and used to configure and generate customer offers.”
“Centric Software has played an important role in helping us to define our processes and create our new IT architecture. Centric PLM will provide the foundation of product data we need to maintain excellent craftsmanship and support our plans for future growth.”