On, the Swiss running shoe company known for its CloudTec shoe technology, has invested in a new PLM system to streamline its operations.

The firm, which was established in Switzerland in 2010 by former athlete Olivier Bernhard and his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti, has selected Centric Software to provide its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution.

Seeking the perfect running shoe that would provide enough cushioning to offer a soft landing, but enough firmness to propel the runner forward, Bernhard, Allemann, and Copetti, came up with a sole technology that combined these qualities and released their first shoe: the Cloudsurfer. The company claims to currently be the fastest running shoe brand on the planet, and is today sold in more than 4,000 outlets in over 50 countries.

But the firm's rate of growth and the addition of a new line of performance clothing brought challenges, explains Marc Maurer, COO at On, and led it to begin a PLM selection process in 2017.

"We're growing very fast, and the whole company is digitally transforming," he explains. "We knew a PLM system would help centralise and organise information that currently exists across different departments and files. We wanted to minimise the risk of losing information due to misunderstandings and make it easier for people to get the information they need.

"For instance, our marketing and customer service people need to ask the R&D department the same questions on a daily basis. Having a central repository of accessible information they can check will save time and allow people to focus on their jobs. We want to make it easy for all our newly-hired people to find information, rather than sending queries to other departments."

On began using Centric's Field Testing mobile app earlier this year and Maurer says the firm is looking forward to beginning a full PLM implementation.

"We expect Centric will make it possible to work more efficiently," he adds. "We'll save time, and therefore money. It will give us a reliable knowledge base of materials, models and previous collections that can be used by all departments, from R&D to marketing. PLM will provide transparency between departments, making it easier for everyone to see what is happening in each one."