Centric Software is a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes. The Silicon Valley-based company partners with leading global companies to develop and implement the best product lifecycle management (PLM) innovations. Centric Sales Director based in India Ruchir Shankar talk with Fibre2Fashion about PLM and the challenges specific to the fashion industry.
How many customers and brands use Centric PLM? Who are your key customers?
We currently have over 12,500 brands from around the world using Centric PLM. The majority of our customers are brands, retailers and manufacturers from the fashion and apparel industries, followed by food and beverage and cosmetics and personal care.
How does PLM contribute to the cause of sustainability?
Centric PLM helps fashion brands and retailers consolidate reliable sustainability data related to each product, while Centric Manufacturing PLM helps apparel exporters support their brand and retail partners with corporate sustainability goals by centralizing all product-related data in one digital location, making it easier to maintain and access material and supplier information.
What are the specific challenges facing the fashion business in this region?
One of the biggest challenges for the fashion business is supply chain bottlenecks. There are many challenging supply chain requirements arising from transportation, raw material supply, demand forecasting and supply diversification factors such as cost, compliance risks, speed to market and flexibility. Another challenge is meeting changing consumer demands. It takes a lot of commitment to stay ahead of the competition with innovation, demand forecasting and a willingness to invest in advanced technology. Finally, many companies face the challenge of collaborating and managing vast amounts of data. Many companies, small of course, but even very large, still rely on spreadsheets to manage important product data and BOM (bill of materials). As a business grows, it is challenging to scale and increase speed to market. Centric PLM aims to solve these challenges with a centralized location for data.
Which core solutions/technologies are in demand in India?
We are seeing greater demand for PLM, which not only helps improve overall work and process efficiency, but can also seamlessly integrate with many of the latest technologies available today. For example, AI/ML (machine learning) makes it easier to save time and make more accurate decisions. Likewise, the use of 3D technology helps improve product design and development, resulting in more innovative and sustainable products, optimized costs and faster time to market.
Tell us about the e-book recently launched by Centric for the benefit of global fashion apparel manufacturers.
We launched an e-book Stories of digital transformation from global fashion and apparel manufacturers which features six important players in the industry, where you can see where they started before going digital and how they made the decision that allows them to reap the benefits now.
What new solutions do you plan to offer, especially for the fashion industry?
In addition to PLM, we now offer a retail planning solution that uses powerful data and AI/ML to optimize financial merchandise planning, assortment, reach and demand planning, as well as store and supplier replenishment. One of our clients, Guess, doubled their operating margins after implementing central planning.
What are Centric’s future plans for India?
We currently have some of the biggest clients in the fashion and apparel industry in the country like Tata Trent, Aditya Birla – Pantaloons, Style Union and many more. As we expand into India, we hope to continue to share industry best practices from the rest of the world with our Indian customers and grow with the insights gathered from the local fashion and apparel industry.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the interviewee and do not in any way reflect the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.