This interview first appeared in Dassault Systemes ENOVIA's Contact Magazine in August 2008.

Contact Mag: What specific challenges does Gucci Group face when designing and releasing its different collections?
Gianni Leone: There are two major challenges. One is the need to reduce costs by improving control over budgets and by eliminating inefficient tasks that have no added value. The other is to reduce time to market. This means improving the flow of information at all levels of the product development process, enabling collaboration between the different actors involved in a collection, improving synchronization between the different teams, and efficiently managing the timing when designing and producing a collection. Our ultimate goal is to be ready on time for each collection’s fashion show date.

C.M.: How does a PLM approach help you meet these challenges?
G.L.: PLM helped us overcome the weaknesses we had in the way our employees shared information, which was essentially based on exchanging paper, emails and other paper-based methods. We needed to modify our working environment and provide everyone access to a single information source so that they can find relevant, up-to-date information at any time from any place. This is essential to successful collaboration.

C.M.: Why have you chosen ENOVIA PLM?
G.L.: We took, as you might say, a classic approach to comparing the different solutions on the market. We opted for ENOVIA PLM because it satisfied our selection criteria such as user friendliness, ease of use, flexibility and scalability of the solution, as well as the fact that the same platform can easily be deployed to our other product categories. The solution is also a widely tested and proven solution, a gauge of reliability and robustness.

C.M.: What approach have you adopted for implementing ENOVIA PLM?
G.L.: We have opted for a phased implementation where Phase One covers all activities linked to product development and industrialization of brand such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta in our ready-to-wear and leather goods categories. The feedback from this initial implementation will pave the way for extending the PLM approach to other product categories such as jewelry and silk products.

This first phase is just part of a comprehensive program of improving our overall information system, organization and processes, ENOVIA PLM has prompted us to take a look at our existing processes and make improvements that are in line with the possibilities offered by the solution. It was an opportunity for us to make our processes more efficient and not just implement this new tool on our existing processes. Only this comprehensive approach will yield the necessary improvements in lead time between design and industrialization that we require.

C.M.: What were the results of the first phase of implementation?
G.L.: One of the success factors during this first phase of ENOVIA PLM implementation was the teamwork between Gucci Group and Dassault Systèmes. We are very satisfied with the support provided by Dassault Systèmes. We built a unified team of Gucci Group and Dassault Systèmes experts with the right skills, working together for a common goal to make implementation a success. There was no room for error, and when we switched to ENOVIA PLM for our production we were up and running as planned.

Dassault Systèmes also provided us with customized applications, which match the way we work and follow the processes that are an inherent part of what makes our company unique. The flexibility of ENOVIA PLM enabled these specificities to become part of the solution that we have implemented here at Gucci Group.

C.M.: What is the feedback from users so far?
We were aware that deciding to move away from the old way of working would require that users get accustomed to the new approach and the new tools. But the user friendliness of the solution and the advantages it offers made this transition fluid. Consequently, the feedback is good and it confirms that adopting ENOVIA PLM was the right thing to do.

More about Gucci Group
Gucci Group is one of the world’s leading multi-brand luxury goods companies with revenue for 2007 of €3.9 billion. The Group creates, produces and distributes high-quality luxury goods, including ready-to-wear, leather goods and silk products, shoes, watches, cosmetics, eyewear and jewelry with luxury brands including Balenciaga, Bedat & Co., Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi and Boucheron. Today, the Group directly operates 494 stores in major markets throughout the world and wholesale products through franchise stores, duty-free boutiques and leading department and specialty stores. Gucci Group is owned by PPR, a global player in retail and luxury goods.