In a move to streamline the product development process in its men's underwear and casualwear businesses in central London, Courtaulds Textiles Plc has purchased 40 licenses for StyleManager, Ai's widely implemented product development application designed for the apparel industry and engineered to operate with Oracle. In addition to the Portman Close implementation, several Courtaulds Textiles factories will be connected to StyleManager in time for the spring 2001 collections.Courtaulds has also signed on to AiSpecNet, the Collaborative Business Computing (CBC) extranet application that has been engineered for B2B global communication of spec packages and all associated product information and graphic files. AiSpecNet will be used to replace expensive and disconnected communication methods such as overnight shipping and facsimile, thereby shortening the product communication process and enhancing supply chain management overall.Acquiring both StyleManager and AiSpecNet is expected to aggressively enhance Courtaulds entire internal and external product development process from design concept through final delivery. Perry Bonney, Ai's UK general manager, says that: "The new relationship with Courtaulds Textiles is a partnership that will enable Courtaulds to take full advantage of Ai's technology in StyleManager and AiSpecNet whilst Ai gets the support in the market of a major world player in apparel manufacturing and textiles."Tony Farrar, Group IT executive, at Courtaulds Textiles adds: "We decided to go with StyleManager and AiSpecNet primarily because we see that they will enable us to optimize our resources on a global scale and remain in control of our process. Communication and collaboration is critical to our future and Ai's technology partnership allows us manage this globally."