German skiwear and outerwear company Bogner has successfully implemented a new PLM system to boost product development and better manage growth. 

The Munich-based ski apparel company has invested in Centric Software's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution to help manage data flows and communication.

Founded 1932 by champion skier Willy Bogner and his wife Maria, Bogner is today renowned for its high-tech skiwear for professional and leisure skiers as well as luxury winter apparel lines.

However, Bogner's growth and expansion into new product categories over the years has generated "unmanageable" amounts of data, and it became difficult to get a clear picture of what was happening with products in development.

"We didn't have a PLM or PDM system before, so our processes lacked transparency," explains Stephanie Eibich, brand intelligence at Bogner. "Product information was scattered between our ERP system, emails and Word or Excel documents. It wasn't efficient or user-friendly, because people didn't know where to find information and the product development team couldn't collaborate effectively."

The company assessed several PLM vendors with the help of an external consultant before choosing Centric Software.

"We finally decided on Centric PLM because it has out-of-the-box functionality and can connect and standardise our operations across a variety of areas, including design, merchandising, materials management, sourcing and sales," Eibich adds. "It's a modern, web-based system. As our designers use Adobe Illustrator, the Adobe Connect function in Centric is very important."

A large number of Bogner's employees in Germany now use Centric PLM in their day-to-day work, with staff saying work is "so much easier" with Centric, according to Eibich.

"People across the development teams from designers to pattern-makers are comfortable working with the system and tell us how much it suits them. It's so much more transparent and efficient and it's also bringing people closer together in the company as they collaborate within the system."

She adds: "Our first goal was to have more time for the product. Since we are a luxury and outdoor company making high-end products, we need to ensure that they are good quality. We are regaining time that people spent looking for information. We're communicating faster and connecting the whole development of a style worldwide."