Catoma Selects Centric SMB for its Digital Transformation

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Alabama-based outdoor company uses technology to lighten their load.

Centric Software PLM, Centric Outdoor PLM, Centric SMB PLM

Catoma Selects Centric SMB for its Digital Transformation

We’ve been so impressed with how Centric has adapted to our niche, our products and approach.

Catoma, the outdoor and military supply company has selected Centric Software®’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution for emerging brands, Centric SMB. 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.

Based in Montgomery, Alabama, the headquarters sits on the banks of Catoma Creek from which they borrowed their name. Established in 1993 making tents for the US Forest Service and founded by outdoor enthusiasts, the gear reflects the dedication of the employees and voice of their customers. They boast a line of tents, shelters, packs, pouches and accessories.

Catoma’s product development process was quite manual—they were using paper, email and spreadsheets. Growth has increased over the years, and their online sales registered the highest numbers during the pandemic, underscoring the need to digitally transform.

Ryan Torpey, Director of Design, says, “We serve a variety of different markets, some with very strict requirements in terms of manufacturing of both materials and construction specs, plus we’re looking to start an import line as well. We have had some challenges trying to manage several SKUs across three different manufacturing facilities. How can we get all the information we need to the people that need to have it in the most up-to-date form possible? Emails, Excel and Word docs just weren’t cutting it.”

Many of the products are rather technical and innovations like the Switchblade® modular load carriage systems require very precise tech packs and a central repository to house all their data. Catoma evaluated five potential solutions.

Eric Culpepper, Director of IT, says, “When we saw the Centric demo, it was night-and-day different compared to some of the other vendors. The capabilities just blew us away. Also, being a secure SaaS solution, the ability to log in from anywhere and have current information available to everybody on the team is very valuable.”

Torpey recalls, “I actually spent an afternoon just daydreaming about all the possibilities that I wanted the software to do. I wrote it all up and handed it to Eric and Jeff, who were overseeing the implementation. They came back to me and said like it was nothing, ‘Yeah, that’s fine—they got it all; is there anything else you wanted?’"

Centric SMB is already showing Catoma what it’s made of. Says Torpey, “It is in the back-end where we are saving so much time—in tech pack creation, tracking iterations, being able to update once and push that out to several different manufacturers at the same time. It cuts out much of the back-and-forth and reduces errors by having the information at our fingertips.”

Torpey concludes, “We were really kind of apprehensive about what software would be able to really work with the functionally convoluted process we developed, but Centric has just breezed right through that! It has even clarified how we should do some other things internally, based on the organization that PLM has forced us to lay out there. We’ve been so impressed with how it has adapted to our niche, our products and approach.”

“I am proud that Catoma has chosen Centric SMB in their quest for continued excellence,” says Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software. “Catoma is a very innovative and fast growing company that delivers high-quality products to the outdoor enthusiasts everywhere.”

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Catoma (http://www.catoma.com)
We started designing tents in 1993 in Montgomery, Alabama. Our first venture was developing a shelter for the United States Forest Service, in particular their Wilderness Firefighters. We needed a name for our company and with our facility located on the banks of Catoma Creek in Montgomery, Alabama, we decided to borrow its name and Catoma was born.

Catoma was founded by outdoor enthusiasts and that experience greatly impacts the thought process behind the design of our products. We listen to our customers and we hope that it shows when you use our gear. We’ve worked hard to assemble a line of products that reflect our dedication to making exceptional products for exceptional people who will push them to their limits.

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Celia Newhouse
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