UK fashion retailer Superdry has invested in a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution to support growth and streamline product development.

The company has selected Centric Software's PLM software to help with design detail, quality, fit and innovation, and speed up sampling and fit reviews.

Superdry's origins lie in Cult Clothing Co, which established stores in major university towns and cities across the UK after its foundation in 1985. The company opened its first Superdry store in London in 2004, and now operates through 515 branded outlets in 46 countries. It reported GBP1bn (US$1.4bn) in brand revenue across retail, wholesale and e-commerce in 2016.

"We've evolved from having two separate parts to our business, retail and wholesale," explains Scott Robertson, head of business transformation at Superdry. "We were almost designing two separate ranges because each timeline was very different and some products were being duplicated. About two years ago, we started consolidating the retail and wholesale ranges into a global range, reducing the total number of options we create, and putting new ways of working in place. Getting a PLM system was the next step on our roadmap to support that change."

Robertson adds the brand was working with Excel and email, using "literally thousands" of different spreadsheets with no single source of the truth, and people spending too much time trying to find information rather than doing value-added activities. "We had no clarity, and couldn't track how many options we were developing during product development. We knew PLM would give us visibility to streamline that process," he adds.

"Superdry is focused on design detail, and obsessed with quality, fit and innovation. Centric will help us to support these areas; we will be able to do sampling and fit reviews much more quickly and easily. Connecting with Adobe Illustrator is important, as it gives our designers the ability to collaborate more efficiently and provides visibility into the design process for category managers throughout the season.

"One example of this is that it takes the design team up to a week to prepare for reviews because they have to print everything out and create storyboards. All of that will be accessible in PLM with the press of a button, saving them a week of effort four times a year. This will be a massive improvement, and an example of how we can invest that time back into product development, design, improving quality and attention to detail."

The move sees Superdry become Centric's largest customer to date in the UK.