Outdoor clothing and footwear brand Keen has streamlined its global supply chain and "dramatically improved" efficiency after implementing a new Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution.

The Portland, Oregon-based company, which makes shoes, sandals, boots, bags and apparel, sells its products through its own branded retail and online stores as well as via a vast network of global retail partners and distributors.

It selected the Centric Software PLM solution to lend structure and improve efficiency in August 2017. Now the company says one of its teams has been able to cut its report output time by 50%, while problems can be identified and solved earlier during product development. 

Aaron Hellickson, product development technology manager at Keen, says previous methods for managing product development were unable to meet the challenges of shrinking time to market, globalisation of product portfolios, and margin pressures.
"Our product development process was Excel and email-heavy, leading to a lot of confusion about which version of what document was sent when. We had 'many sources of truth' and it was slowing us down. We needed a solution to keep pace with current company growth and set a foundation for scalable future growth.

"PLM gives other parts of the business visibility to what's happening on the product creation floor. It has opened up communication between the different stakeholders across the organisation."