Women's clothing manufacturer STF Group SA has signed up as Centric Software's first product lifecycle management (PLM) software customer in Latin America.

The Yumbo, Colombia based group operates the Studio F and ELA brands, and will use the Centric 8 PLM software to improve processes and sustain growth in its retail sales, clothing, footwear, luxury and consumer goods departments.

"The company is growing rapidly and anticipates increasing the number of retail stores that it operates by almost 50% during the next three years," says Myriam Silva, vice president of STF Group. In 2014 alone, STF Group expects to open stores in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and the United States.

Beyond expansion of its retail operations, STF Group's growth plans include e-commerce and the introduction of a new range of products. A specialist in women's clothing (including jeans, jackets, tops and dresses), it is also considering entering the swimwear market, plus fashions for girls and teens.

The new software will play a decisive role in the development of new collections from STF Group, explains Silva. PLM will deliver improved visibility, control and clear communications to aid the creation of each product, and form the foundation for efficient production in all markets reached by the company's brands.

It will also assist the company as it considers incorporating new product categories.