European fashion retail giant Grupo Cortefiel has invested in a new product lifecycle management (PLM) solution to improve visibility and decision-making in its sourcing process.

Headquartered in Madrid, Grupo Cortefiel chose Centric Software's PLM tool to keep its product sourcing teams in sync and up to date. The company has over 2,000 points of sale in 90 countries, with brands that include Cortefiel, Springfield and Pedro del Hierro. It also operates an outlet chain called Fifty Factory.

"We initially went live with the Springfield brand and the project included aspects such as collection management, prototype creation, technical specification development, sample reviews and materials management," says Manel Jimenez, supply chain general manager of Grupo Cortefiel. "We connected PLM to our ERP solution, while taking the different needs of each brand into account. The project went quite smoothly and we met our initial project goals."

Jimenez says the company chose Centric's Product Sourcing module to handle a large volume of different types of data, such as vendor contact details, social and technical factory audits, sourcing manuals for vendors, quality assurance inspection reports and design files for vendors to review.

"We also wanted to make it possible to create clear critical paths and timelines for order inspections, with defined milestones. It's important for us to integrate all of our suppliers with the PLM system, and as part of the PISA project, we aimed to get at least 50% of them on board.
"This is a very important step for us, as it moves us from a design-focused system to one that allows us to globally manage a product as well as its delivery. Centric's Product Sourcing module helps us keep our product sourcing teams in sync and up to date, and visibility has been improved for our buyers and designers.

"We are able to track products through every phase of development using clear milestones and we believe our communication with suppliers will improve greatly."

Grupo Cortefiel has a network of international buying offices in Spain, Hong Kong and India. Distribution is centralised at its Madrid logistics platform, backed up by an additional centre in Hong Kong, supplying both the group's own stores and franchises.