Outdoor Research Selects Centric PLM™ Based on Intuitive User-Experience, High Functionality and Value

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An outdoor gear and accessory company boosts streamlined decision-making and workflows

Outdoor Research Selects Centric PLM™ Based on Intuitive User-Experience, High Functionality and Value

Outdoor Research Selects Centric PLM™ Based on Intuitive User-Experience, High Functionality and Value

Centric hit that sweet spot for us, with the user-friendly interface putting it over the top.

Outdoor Research, the Seattle based and globally distributed outdoor gear and accessory company, has selected Centric Software®’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. Centric Software provides the most innovative business solutions to plan, design, develop, source and sell products such as apparel, footwear, sporting goods, furniture, décor, cosmetics, food & beverage and luxury to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.

Outdoor Research (OR) was founded by Ron Gregg following an experience that cut a Denali climbing trip short. Gregg’s partner experienced a failure in his leg gaiters and had to be airlifted off the mountain due to frostbite. Afterward, Gregg sought to build a pair of gaiters that would have saved that trip, and the company was born. Outdoor Research produces functional, quality outdoor gear that pushes the limits of innovative possibility. The main distribution channel is wholesale, with e-comm and a brick-and-mortar store in the mix.

Outdoor Research knew they needed to upgrade an older PDM system. Caroline MacMillan, Director of Product Development and Operations at Outdoor Research says, “The system we're currently using is very outdated and coming up on being unsupported, so that forced our hand.”

Says MacMillan, “We researched all the solutions available in the space right now, especially those that focus on apparel. We were seeking a combination of usability, functionality and price that fits where we are in our growth.” The winning solution also needed to address the complexity of multiple manufacturing locations in Asia and the US, and a SKU count of about 1000 styles annually, spread across 7 categories.

In the end, OR selected Centric PLM. “Centric hit that sweet spot for us, with the user-friendly interface putting it over the top.” says MacMillan. “One of our primary criteria was ease of use because we know we'll get better adoption that way. Tools are only useful if people are willing to use them.”

The expectations after implementation are improved efficiency throughout the product lifecycle and reduced errors due to not having to update information in multiple spreadsheets. MacMillan says that having a single source of truth will also give users a bird’s eye view of what they are working on, leading to more strategic decision-making. “We’ll be able to look at information in real-time to get status and assess priorities. That's a huge efficiency over pulling information from multiple spreadsheets into one roll-up every time.” She continues to describe how the current system can cause bottlenecks in their process because there is only a small subset of people in the company who are trained on it due to its difficulty of use. MacMillan says, “It’s a major headache—work slows to a crawl because there's a limited number of people who can execute it. We're hoping that Centric PLM democratizes the process; there'll be more people who can get into the system and perform different activities and the system will be intuitive enough for each function to take care of its own piece.”

Adding another wish, MacMillan says, “We're hoping that by having better information to start with and better access to that information, we’ll become both more efficient and more sustainable, avoiding the waste caused by late changes, dropped styles and over-development. We’re looking forward to making our own lives easier on a day-to-day basis and streamlining operations by using a tool that allows us to get better information faster.”

Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software says, “I am so pleased that Outdoor Research has selected Centric PLM. We are happy to have a thriving outdoor company take advantage of the functionality that our user-friendly solution brings to making better decisions that will drive efficiency into their process.”
Learn more about Centric PLM.

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Outdoor Research (http://www.outdoorresearch.com)

Since 1981, Outdoor research has created trusted apparel, accessories and equipment for you to thrive outside. Our award-winning outdoor gear is meticulously researched and tested for outdoor enthusiast and military users around the globe. Grounded in our values of curiosity, passion, innovation, collaboration, and community, we strive to create space for all in the outdoors. We celebrate wins outside at every level together with our ambassadors, non-profit partners, and employees. Join us at outdoorresearch.com

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Aurore Evee
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