Top Italian team sportswear company selects Centric Software PLM to support rapid growth and handle increasing complexity
CAMPBELL, Calif., November 27, 2018– Macron, the sportswear company based in Bologna, Italy, that clothes top sports teams across the world, has successfully implemented Centric Software’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, luxury and consumer goods companies to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.
Macron was established in 1971 and has risen to success over the past two decades as a maker of technical apparel for team sports. Sponsoring high profile football teams in top divisions across the globe – Lazio, Sporting Lisbon, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest, Real Sociedad, Bruges – Macron is ranked by UEFA as the third most popular football brand in Europe and Macron is also making strides in the rugby arena, recently sponsoring the Italian and Scottish national teams in the Six Nations tournament. Macron’s core business is the production of team wear for amateur sports teams, as well as official kits and merchandise for professional clubs. In addition, the company makes athleisure and running lines for individual consumers. Macron retails in over 140 own-brand stores and 800 multi-brand stores worldwide.
Macron has grown at a rapid pace. Taking just one aspect of their business, Macron sponsored one team in 2001 – their local Bologna FC – and now sponsors 70 professional sports clubs. As Paolo Guizzardi, Chief Operating Officer at Macron explains, Macron’s rapid growth has brought challenges.
“We’re not a standard fashion or apparel company although our smaller lines run on a traditional seasonal basis,” he says. “In our core business, team sports, all styles are 4-5 years lifecycle carry-over items with a new annual collection of over 100 new styles. Each of the 70 clubs we sponsor has their own unique collection each year. We differentiate ourselves from other players in this market by offering full customized designs and getting to market twice as fast as our competitors. The biggest challenge is to maintain our competitive time to market in the face of increasing complexity and growth in our team sports business.”
Until now, Macron was using a system of Excel spreadsheets, emails and online chat communication to organize design, product development and merchandising across its Bologna headquarters, Italian distribution center and office in China. Macron outsources production to factories across the world so tracking raw material and supplier information was becoming difficult.
As Guizzardi says, “Information was not shared correctly, completely or on time. Finding information was difficult enough in our Italian office, where people are next to each other – imagine how it was for our employees in China, 9,000 kilometers and six time zones away! We needed PLM to give us a single, unique database, updated in real time, that everyone could use. We also wanted to standardize our coding for materials and accessories, rather than relying on people to remember what we used last year. With 15,000 SKUs in our catalog for team sports alone, we needed to make it easier for people to quickly find exact, reliable information. The push for PLM very much came from the ground – from our users.”
Macron selected Centric PLM after considering several options, pinpointing Centric’s apparel experience as a deciding factor in their decision.
“We’re an unusual business, because unlike a fashion company, our core business is not seasonal,” explains Guizzardi. “However, Centric was born in apparel. Making clothing is in Centric’s DNA, and we’re a fast-growing sportswear company that needs a long-term partner to change and grow with us. Centric is a reliable company that we know will be around to support us for many years to come. When we saw the demo, we were very impressed by the fact that Centric requires no customization to suit our present needs. We’re more than happy with Centric’s offering as it is and it was possible to implement in just 5 months.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Macron as our latest partner,” says Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software. “Macron’s meteoric rise in the world of team sportswear has seen them challenge large, established sports brands in Europe and around the world. We’re looking forward to working with Macron to support their continued growth with a strong digital platform.”
Macron is a European leader company in the production and sale of sportswear, operating in four main business areas: teamwear – sportswear and accessories for team sports (football, rugby, basketball, volleyball, baseball, handball, futsal, running); merchandising – official kits, free time products and accessories for the supporters of the clubs sponsored by Macron; running & fitness – technical apparel for individual runners and for training sessions in the gym; athleisure – sports inspired apparel for leisure time, for those who wish to wear Macron even outside pure sports activities. Macron owes its success to the capacity of interpreting the needs and demands of those who do sport, developing high quality and technicality products.
Centric Software (www.centricsoftware.com)
From its headquarters in Silicon Valley and offices in trend capitals around the world, Centric Software provides a Digital Transformation Platform for the most prestigious names in fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor and consumer goods. Centric Visual Innovation Platform (VIP) is a visual, fully digital collection of boards for touch-based devices like iPad, iPhone and large-scale, touch-screen televisions. Centric VIP transforms decision making and automates execution to truly collapse time to market and distance to trend. Centric’s 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 SMB 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 Leadership Award in Retail, Fashion, and Consumer Goods PLM in 2018 and Frost & Sullivan’s Global Retail, Fashion, and Apparel PLM Product Differentiation Excellence Award in 2016 and 2012. Red Herring named Centric to its Top 100 Global list in 2013, 2015, and 2016.
Centric is a registered trademark of Centric Software. All other brands and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.