Japanese sportswear maker Descente Ltd has invested in a PLM system to improve product development and standardise operations across its 15 brands.

Established in 1935, a Japanese menswear company called Tsuruya started making baseball clothing in the 1950s to capitalise on the growing baseball trend. Following a move into skiwear in 1954, and a name change to Descente in 1961, the company is now a global manufacturer and seller of sporting items, with a portfolio of brands including Arena, Munsingwear and Le Coq Sportif besides its namesake house brand.

It has invested further in Centric Software's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution – already in use at two Descente owned brands – and will roll out the solution to those remaining.

"Errors and mistakes during the product design phase could potentially cause defects and this is something we wanted to improve," explains Terumitsu Watanabe, manager, product engineering, at Descente. "We also found that it was taking too much time to organise and communicate information effectively during product planning and development."

"We decided to invest in a PLM solution to ensure product quality and speed up the product development process. We knew it would also help us to review our way of working and standardise operations across our brands."

Watanabe adds the fact it is cloud-based solution makes Centric PLM ideal for global use as it is configured rather than customised, and, as a result, can be deployed in a very short period of time.

"We're looking forward to improving operational efficiency and increasing productivity," Watanabe says. "It's going to completely transform our way of working and will help us to create standard operations across a great variety of brands."