Mud Pie, an award-winning lifestyle brand and maker of affordable gifts and apparel, has successfully implemented Centric Software's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, luxury and consumer goods companies to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.

CEO Marcia Miller founded Mud Pie in 1988, producing ceramic gift lines for major US retailers such as Macy's. Mud Pie is based in Stone Mountain, Georgia and has built up a range of gifts and clothing for style-conscious consumers to celebrate special occasions. Mud Pie creates "delightful gifts to inspire all of life's sparkling moments", taking up-to-the-minute design trends and interpreting them to make unique products at an affordable price point. The company contains three divisions: Fashion, Kids and Home. Mud Pie products are sold in 16,000 retail outlets around the world as well as directly to consumers online.

Facing design, product development and production challenges associated with the company's growth, Mud Pie realized it was time to replace their outdated systems and put a strong and flexible PLM system behind their products. Mud Pie kicked off an implementation project with Centric Software in March 2017 after a selection process that originally began with ten competing vendors.

The deployment of Centric PLM was completed in September 2017, in a total implementation time of 4 months. Mud Pie implemented Centric's product specification, material management, sourcing, calendar and merchandising modules.

"Centric really suits our needs," explains Charlene Schoepp, Director of IT Applications at Mud Pie. "Centric's Adobe Illustrator integration is very important to us, as that's what our designers use. We wanted to put a system in place that would help, not hinder them. We were also impressed by Centric's Agile Deployment? project methodology. Throughout the implementation, Centric used an iterative approach that meant we would see our requested changes almost instantly, not six months down the line."

"The Centric team is very focused on customer satisfaction and helping Mud Pie to succeed," Schoepp continues. "We talk to the team daily and they have always been able to answer our questions and steer us toward best practices. The goal of this project was to increase our speed to market and make it easier for our teams to communicate with each other and with suppliers. Centric PLM has given us out of the box tools to succeed in those aims, but the way the system is personalized means that it will grow and develop along with Mud Pie."

Mud Pie had a challenging timeline, but Schoepp notes that Centric was able to handle the pressure. "Centric's subject matter experts are very knowledgeable about the process and were able to dedicate significant time to the project," she says. "Centric kept up with the quick pace of the implementation and we went live on time and on scope."

"Our product development team finally has a single place to go for information and users across our various teams love the system," Schoepp says. "We are using the system for everything from design to communication with suppliers. Centric is very intuitive and it didn't take long for people to get used to it. They are delighted to be able to view real time data in different ways depending on their roles and communicate directly in the system rather than through email."

"It's always nerve-wracking putting in a new system but this has been a very positive step for Mud Pie and we're excited to see time savings and increased efficiency now that everyone is on the system. We're looking forward to continuing our relationship with Centric, who have been very supportive throughout the process."

"We are pleased that Mud Pie is already experiencing the benefits of Centric PLM," says Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software. "Mud Pie is a unique company that makes a range of gifts and home goods as well as apparel, so their project was an interesting challenge for the Centric team. We're looking forward to a long partnership together."