The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted apparel and manufacturing businesses far and wide for a number of reasons including a drop in domestic economic activities and the declining export of garments. Bangladesh has particularly has suffered, a frustrating time for a country whose economy was growing close to 7% per annum for the past decade according to International Monetary Fund (IMF). Many leading Bangladesh manufacturers are now faced with frozen capital expense budgets for FY21 in an attempt to regain their financial status. Withdrawing from existing system updates or not investing in technology designed to help lower operational expenses can be counterproductive.
Now is actually the time for manufacturers to reassess how well existing process management systems are performing and explore modern PLM solutions can lower costs for the business. Centric Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution streamlines manufacturing operations and data on one cloud-based, agile platform so that users stay connected with accurate information no matter where they are working. Operation costs are cut dramatically (by as much 33%) as collaboration, design, sourcing, sampling, creating BOMs, quality control, material management, feedback and reporting can be done virtually and efficiently. Time wasted searching for information, correcting errors, changing samples or communicating back and forth with customers and suppliers is vastly reduced, if not eliminated.
Centric SMB is a tailored PLM solution for emerging companies that want to experience the benefits of PLM (lower costs, faster time to delivery, data accuracy, increased efficiency) but require reduced up-front costs.
Read how Travis Brown, Technical Project Manager at footwear brand Cobian used Centric SMB to handle economic pressures.
At Cobian, we have just begun our implementation of Centric SMB, Centric Software’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution for emerging enterprises. With a footwear PLM solution in place, our goal is to handle economic pressures with more flexible sourcing, increasingly demand-led product development and tighter control of logistics. Here’s how.
Shifts in sourcing patterns
We previously worked with a small number of suppliers, who are primarily based in China. This puts us at risk when it comes to tariff increases, so we are diversifying into countries such as Indonesia and Myanmar.
Working with new suppliers is always a challenge, but Centric PLM will give us a single source of up-to-date product information that we can use to onboard manufacturers quickly. Centric’s multiple language and currency support is also crucial as we make connections in new countries.
Centric Footwear PLM provides visibility to our employees in our sourcing office in China to make sourcing decisions and handle more of the product development process. We want to develop products more efficiently and get sampling and quality control done in our factories overseas without emailing spreadsheets and mailing physical samples halfway across the world.
Moving to demand-led product design
Footwear is a fickle industry at the best of times and sales can wax and wane so it’s important to have a secondary distribution channel to avoid carrying unsold inventory into another season. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder to off-price footwear, and resellers are putting pressure on companies to sell at a large discount.
With tariffs on the supply side and discounting on the sales side, margins are getting tighter and tighter, and this makes it more important than ever to make sure that we don’t over-buy or over-produce.
PLM will give us the visibility we need into what’s in our core lines going forward and make it easier to develop more demand-led products. We create specially made-up products in limited runs for individual companies, and designing these custom products requires speed, efficiency and access to the full range of available materials, colors, trims and other design options.
Centric PLM facilitates the entire process from design to sales, giving our clients a range of existing characteristics to quickly design, develop, sample and manufacture custom lines. We’ll be creating more products to meet a specific need, rather than creating a lot of products with no clear projection of what will sell and what will end up in the hands of cut-price retailers.
Taking control of logistics
Depending on how the geopolitical situation evolves, we may not want to hold product in China. We can warehouse stock in China so that we don’t spend money on freight to bring it to the US if we don’t need it yet. However, if it’s sitting in China and we suddenly get hit with more tariffs, it could become very expensive to ship it over.
This presents a significant logistics problem, and logistics is the number one challenge on all levels that led us to seek a footwear PLM solution. PLM makes information more accessible to the people that need it so that they can work together to solve these problems and take advantage of sophisticated reporting and planning capabilities to anticipate issues down the line.
Ultimately PLM will make us more proactive and less reactive, which is the core attribute we need to handle logistical challenges. With more visibility into demand on the sales side, improvements in the product introduction success rate and faster time to market, we can build the agility and flexibility we need to make sure that we have a minimal amount of stock sitting in limbo.
It’s impossible to predict how the tariffs situation will unfold, but Centric PLM will put us in a better position to handle whatever is coming down the road. The motivation behind our footwear PLM project is to solve problems and make things easier and faster across the business, and we believe that spending on PLM is a small investment compared to the opportunities it will give us.
To find out more about Centric’s SMB solution, watch a demo or discuss costs including expected ROI, speak to our knowledgeable Bangladesh team today.
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More than 400+ companies creating products for over 1,750+ iconic brands, retailers and manufacturers trust Centric Software including
Crystal Group, MAS Holdings, Charles & Keith, Liverpool, Hirdaramani, Brandix, Lever Style, Regina Miracle, Louis Vuitton, Top Form and many more.