Home News Investing in a Downturn: Italy’s Colmar Views on PLM as Strategic Move

Investing in a Downturn: Italy’s Colmar Views on PLM as Strategic Move

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Italian sports apparel maker selects Centric 8 for product lifecycle management, sourcing, profitability management; investing in technology now to build bright future.

(CAMPBELL, CA, JANUARY 18, 2010) Italian ski and sports apparel maker Colmar has based its 85-year track record of success and industry leadership on research and use of high-performance fabrics. Now, despite the global recession, the company is investing in product lifecycle management tools to ensure it can maintain its leadership position.

Colmar has selected Centric 8, the PLM, sourcing and profitability management system for apparel and consumer goods companies from Centric Software, Inc. AEC s.r.l. Consulting represented Centric as its Italian partner and value added reseller.

Giulio Colombo, managing director at Colmar, said that despite the current economic climate, he is confident his company’s historic emphasis on well-researched, high technology fabrics and styles for its winter apparel, beach wear, and city and spare-time sportswear lines will remain highly attractive to the consumer.

“The current downturn will subside,” Colombo said. “Investing now in PLM, sourcing and profitability planning from Centric is a strategic move that will enable us to improve our underlying business processes, be more responsive to our consumers, and position us to extend our leadership in our markets.”

Colombo’s position echoed a Consumer Goods Technology interview in which Gartner Research vice president Dale Hagemeyer urged consumer goods companies to invest in technology during the downturn to be positioned for economic rebound, when “the more analytical and insightful consumer goods companies will carve out share against competitors.”

Colmar selected Centric 8 because it is a “modern, Web-based, comprehensive PLM system,” according to Colombo. The company will use the solution to enable collaboration between designers and design teams, sourcing teams and business teams for line planning and profitability planning.

Another critical factor in Colmar’s selection of Centric 8 was its ease of use. “The system has to deliver far-reaching functionality, yet it also must be intuitive and easy-to-use to achieve the broad-based adoption needed to link all of our teams,” Colombo said.

He also noted that Centric 8 “will allow us to operate efficiently with a system that incorporates best practices of the apparel and fashion business, yet offers the flexibility to enable us to seamlessly incorporate our unique business practices.” A final factor in Colmar’s selection decision was the “cultural fit” between the two companies. “The Centric team has made it clear to us at every level that we are entering into a partnership [that] is focused on our success.”

“Despite the difficult climate, Colmar’s leadership understands that cost-cutting won’t assure the company’s survival and success,” said Chris Groves, president and CEO of Centric. “Instead, they’ve opted to invest in technology that will quickly pay off in the form of improved productivity, enhanced ability to manage the profitability of their product lines, and greater customer responsiveness. Colmar’s decision to invest in PLM technology at this time is typical of the strategic vision that has enabled its storied 85-year history.”

Ben Hanson Ben Hanson is one of WhichPLM’s top contributors. Ben has worked for magazines, newspapers, local government agencies, multi-million pound conservation projects, museums and creative publications before his eventual migration to the Retail, Footwear and Apparel industry.Having previously served as WhichPLM’s Editor, Ben knows the WhichPLM style, and has been responsible for many of our on-the-ground reports and interviews over the last few years. With a background in literature, marketing and communications, Ben has more than a decade’s worth of experience, and is now viewed as one of the industry’s best-known writers.