Luxury Italian footwear brand Santoni has invested in a new Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution to accelerate its digital strategy and counter the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Founded in 1975 by Andrea Santoni, the brand is led today by his son Giuseppe and sells in more than 80 countries worldwide, employing around 600 people at its headquarters in Corridonia and across its commercial, retail, and marketing activities worldwide. 

It has selected Centric Software's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution to help share creative ideas and product information more easily. 

Santoni's COO Riccardo Pianesi explains that whilst the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down sales, it accelerated the company's decision to adopt a PLM system.

"The blueprint of the company is innovation in the spirit of tradition, so we wanted to introduce a new technological concept to help manage the creation, development, and realisation of our products that are characterised by craftsmanship," Pianesi says. "Prior to PLM, without meeting each other face to face, it was more or less impossible to meet our targets.

"Our first goal was to have more knowledge of the creation and development stages of our production. We needed a place where people involved in these phases could have access to data and keep track of what has happened in the past around management, materials and models."

Another key objective for Santoni is to continue to progress its sustainability initiatives, which include sustainably-focused line 'Santoni Rethink', for which the material selection process is particularly important to ensure suppliers are meeting sustainability targets.

"Centric PLM enables us to catalogue information about materials, and has an important role in material research and also personalisation for our customers," Pianesi notes.

He adds the biggest advantages of selecting Centric Software include its technical competence with footwear – as the production activities and technical issues for shoes are significantly different than for garments – as well as its expertise in remote implementation. 

"In 2019 I would have thought it was impossible to manage this type of project remotely but now I have seen that the teams are very committed and capable of implementing the PLM project remotely. When ideas can be communicated clearly, it can be done from anywhere."

What's more, Pianesi explains Santoni will be able to better differentiate between company wants and needs: "Sometimes we feel what we want to do is more important, but PLM will help us focus on what we have to do."