German outdoor goods company chooses Centric PLM to enhance data transparency and improve efficiency
CAMPBELL, Calif., June 22, 2017 – Deuter Sport GmbH, the leading German producer of backpacks, sleeping bags and outdoor accessories, has selected Centric Software to provide its product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. Centric Software is the leading PLM solution for fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor and consumer goods companies.
Deuter was founded in 1898 and began by supplying mailbags and post sacks to the Bavarian Royal Mail. Over the years, the company evolved into a renowned provider of backpacks and sleeping bags for outdoor adventurers, hikers, cyclists and mountaineers, as well as specially designed backpacks for schoolchildren. Deuter is now part of the Schwan-STABILO Group and has its headquarters in Bavaria, as well as a US outpost in Longmont, Colorado. Deuter sells products in 54 countries across five continents.
As Marco Hühn, Quality Manager at Deuter explains, the company has reached a point where they are producing a large number of separate products (over 600 different designs) and the complexity of the products is increasing. Working mainly in Adobe and Excel, Deuter found that data and knowledge was not always available to the people who needed it.
“We currently have 115 people working here in Germany and 24 in the US,” says Hühn. “Our company grew a lot in the past five years and the number of products is also growing. In addition to our 600 products, we have private label business which involves adapting designs from our main collections. The items we produce are becoming more complex because of the rate of technical development in recent years and it is getting more difficult to transport and store information about products in a way that is accessible to everyone. That’s why we decided we needed a form of data management and handling for our products, which led us to research PLM systems.”
“When looking for a suitable PLM system, our main business aims were to stay innovative, keep a high level of quality, maintain a well-balanced production schedule even with more complex and ambitious products, develop partners with sustainable and modern production methods and create transparency throughout the supply chain. Our products are at the heart of Deuter, so the efficient handling of data about them is crucial.”
Deuter began researching PLM solutions more than two years ago. After a period of researching several different systems, attending trade shows, and talking to a current Centric customer, Deuter invited providers to a selection process and eventually chose Centric’s PLM solution.
Hühn says, “We came to the conclusion that we needed a system that could effectively store data, make data available to everyone and make the process of development and design more transparent and not dependent on a small number of people. We thought Centric had the best solution. It is very efficient in handling data and very user-friendly. Centric is quite a modern system so it has not got a ‘development backpack’, a heavy load from old versions, which slows down the flexibility of other systems.”
“Centric’s system is easy to configure and maintain and it handles intuitively. Centric also has great knowledge and understanding of the processes and needs specific to companies that handle textiles. It’s a very flexible solution that we expect will be adaptable to upcoming challenges. Another interesting benefit is that Centric’s future innovations, even when developed with other brands, will be brought into the system for all users to benefit from.”
As Hühn says, “By carefully examining our current processes, we expect to optimize and speed up the different steps of product development. We believe that efficiency will be much higher, especially in special makeups which are adapted from the main collection. The transparency will be much better and knowledge will be more available to everyone, not just the individuals who work with specific products. One of the main reasons we decided to use a PLM system was to avoid knowledge loss when someone leaves the company or is not available.”
“So far we have found Centric to be professional, knowledgeable and supportive, and we are looking forward to working with them further.”
“We would like to extend a warm welcome to Deuter, our latest European customer,” says Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software. “Deuter has a renowned heritage as a producer of quality backpacks, sleeping bags and other durable goods to suit the demands of extreme outdoor conditions. We look forward to beginning a new adventure with Deuter this year.”
From its headquarters in Silicon Valley and offices in trend capitals around the world, Centric Software builds technologies for the most prestigious names in fashion, retail, luxury, footwear, outdoor and consumer goods. Its flagship product lifecycle management (PLM) platform, Centric 8, delivers enterprise-class merchandise planning, product development, sourcing, business planning, quality and collection management functionality tailored for fast-moving consumer industries. Centric Small Business packages extended PLM including innovative technology and key industry learnings tailored for small businesses.
Centric Software has received multiple industry awards, including the Frost & Sullivan Global Product Differentiation Excellence Award in Retail, Fashion and Apparel PLM. Red Herring named Centric to its Top 100 Global list in 2013 and 2015.
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