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“ Every department now wants to go further, faster and stronger with the help of PLM. ” — Roland Neyton, Supply Chain Manager at Wolf Lingerie
Founded in 1947 in Strasbourg, Wolf Lingerie has evolved steadily – from its family roots to its current status as one of the intimate apparel industry’s fastest-growing boutique brands. Each step of their evolution was driven by a clear vision: to make beautiful, high-quality lingerie at a reasonable price for every kind of woman. Their vision is to set themselves apart by reinventing, innovating and doing things differently.
The Group’s portfolio of strong, complementary brands includes Sans Complexe, which blends femininity and French embroidery with an understanding of the fuller figure, and contains the best-selling Arum line, which leads sales in the C+ bust sector in Wolf’s native France.
With around 200 other styles developed each year, it became essential for Wolf Lingerie to improve its design and product development processes to remain competitive without compromising its high standards.
Over the course of 70 years, Wolf Lingerie has left its mark on the lingerie market. The company’s reputation has been built on retaining control of all core product development activities – from design to distribution. Design and development are run from Wolf’s French headquarters. With a network of integrated factories established over a thirty-year period, Wolf Lingerie’s manufacturing is tightly controlled through a strong presence in China.
But while both French and Chinese offices were in regular contact, the company still needed to better align its processes and to strengthen synergies between teams on separate continents. “We needed to improve collaboration between our creative, marketing, costing, purchasing and production teams in both locations,” explains Roland Neyton, Wolf Lingerie’s Supply Chain Manager. “We wanted to bridge the gaps between these departments and allow them to work more closely together.”
At that time, Wolf Lingerie tracked design and development related operations using Excel. Essential information was not always synchronized, resulting in data duplication and multiple revisions of a single spreadsheet. The manual work involved in cleansing and consolidating this information was both time-consuming and error-prone – leading the company to implement Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) as a way of optimizing these processes. PLM is the backbone technology that drives all product-related activities from concept to retail. PLM improves collaboration, reduces errors and costs and speeds time to market resulting in streamlined operations and a more competitive product to drive business growth.
Today, Wolf Lingerie uses global dashboards in Centric 8 PLM to track collections at a glance, and are confident that teams have access to accurate, actionable information. At the same time, Centric PLM™ has allowed the company to improve collaboration with its supply chain partners and apply proven best practices to simplify both internal and external processes. “We needed a solution that was both easy to grasp and that would allow us to obtain rapid results,” continues Neyton. “Before deciding on a solution, we communicated with Centric Software’s existing customers and this feedback was critical to our choice,” he adds, “Every reference we contacted confirmed that Centric’s consultants and developers had the competence, experience and availability to move forward as quickly as we needed.”
Designed to deliver quick wins through rapid iteration and to avoid the need for time-consuming customized developments, the project was managed using Centric’s Agile Deployment Methodology. Initial implementation – covering the Billet Doux and Playboy brands – was completed in just six months, well within the deadline set in the project plan and in line with Wolf Lingerie’s budget.
“Shortly after identifying our key users and defining our business process, our teams were able to begin working with the solution and took the project into their own hands.”
Today, Centric PLM has allowed those teams to achieve significant benefits in speed, accuracy, and efficiency – across a range of different processes.
Impressed by the commitment, accessibility and competence of the entire Centric team, a relationship built on true trust emerged during the project. Now, building on the momentum of that first phase, Wolf Lingerie’s French and Chinese teams are enthusiastic about the future. “Every department now wants to go further, faster and stronger with the help of PLM,” says Neyton. “Our next step is to integrate all of the group brands, optimizing processes across the portfolio and helping every part of Wolf Lingerie remain competitive. I have total confidence in Centric; theirs is a truly modern business, on the cutting edge oftechnology and their innovative solutions match perfectly with our own desire to innovate.”