Japanese fashion retailer Baroque has implemented the Lectra Fashion PLM system to help streamline development and communication for its Moussy brand - and is planning to extend the rollout to its Sly and other brands before the end of the year.

Baroque specialises in fast-fashion for young Japanese women, with revenues last year jumpint 25% to JPY55.1bn (US$707m) and an operating income of JPY7bn.

Prior to investing in a PLM solution, Baroque conducted an internal audit to identify areas of improvement. The root cause of its challenges was found to be in the early stages of planning and development, as well as in communication.

The retailer deals with a growing number of increasingly varied items produced in small volumes, under a number of different brands.

Before implementing Lectra Fashion PLM, the company relied on email and spreadsheets to link internal teams and a master product list for merchandising and promotion planning. Information was not systematically shared with the entire Moussy team, which led to lost time through unnecessary duplication of tasks.

 "With higher visibility, we can continue to streamline the way we work for increased agility," explains Jun Tanaka, information technology department manager at Baroque. "For example, instead of preparing separate documents for merchandisers and marketing, these teams can simply rely on PLM to find the information they need."

This not only reduces workload, but also pushes information where it is needed, rather than requiring people to hunt down details.

One of the company's strategic goals is to aggressively expand into the Chinese market, where it will need a synchronised team to support growth. Baroque aims to have 100 shops in China by January 2014, an increase from the 19 in place as of June this year.

"Our business model requires delivery of new items to shops two or three times per week," adds Isao Sado, CFO, Baroque.

"In order for us to succeed in China, where competition is becoming increasingly intense, it is critical to master information by having an infrastructure that supports the entire product flow from planning and development to shop delivery.

"In order to succeed abroad, it is important to redefine our process and streamline the flow of information with a global perspective."