Sonae Sports and Fashion, a division of the Portugal-based multinational company Sonae, has invested in a new product lifecycle management (PLM) solution to help boost speed to market and streamline processes.

The division has replaced multiple applications and in-house systems with Centric PLM in a bid to reduce complexity, improve team collaboration and reduce collection development lead time.

Sonae is the largest private employer in the country and has businesses in over 80 countries. The division of Sonae Sports and Fashion includes brands such as MO, Sport Zone, Zippy, Losan, Salsa, Berg Outdoor, and Deeply.

"We want a shared and centralised platform that will allow easy online access to real time and accurate information, thus reducing rework activities and mistakes," explains Margarida Nascimento, head of product at Zippy, Sonae Sports and Fashion. "Improving collaboration is an important business challenge for us. We are looking for better communication between teams, both internally and with vendors, such as a way to link each brand sourcing team with central sourcing teams and local Asian offices to align processes, information and communication."

Ultimately, Nascimento adds the aim is to speed time to market and reduce collection development lead time by adopting lean processes and cutting the time spent on administration thus, enable competitive purchasing choices.

"We also wanted to concentrate our supplier and factory management, including factory quality control, within PLM," she says.

Meanwhile, Goska Wolañska, head of operations at Losan, says he expects the Centric PLM project will help improve product design and quality, shorten review and approval lead times and reduce rework. "This should result in a faster time to market, enhance visibility and increase profitability," he adds.

The move marks Centric's first customer based in Portugal and its 100th customer in Europe.