Interview with Mr Chris Groves

Mr Chris Groves
Mr Chris Groves
President and CEO
Centric Software
Centric Software

Headquartered in California -US, Centric Software is a trusted solutions provider for multiple industries including fashion and consumer goods. Focusing on the needs of the fast moving consumer goods segments, Centric PLM and Sourcing solutions uniquely incorporate line planning, global sourcing, calendar management, materials management, story board, enterprise search and product specification in one platform to improve collaboration and empower global teams for wholesale, retail, and licensees. Mr Chris Groves joined Centric Software in 1997 as President and CEO and member of the Board of Directors. He is responsible for global strategic direction and business strategy. Mr Groves is a highly accomplished international business executive with over 20 years of successful experience in building and managing global technology companies. Before coming to Centric, he was VP and GM of Computervision's Workgroup Products business unit in Boston, where he drove rapid growth of the company's industry leading product data management software. The business unit served global customers in the aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing industries. Mr Groves also held executive positions within Computervision's marketing, operations and indirect sales organizations. Previously, he held various executive roles at cellular pioneer Novatel Communications, including SVP of Product Development and VP of Manufacturing. He began his career as a research and development manager at Mitel Semiconductor. He received a BASc in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto, and is a graduate of the Executive PMD Program at Harvard Business School. Speaking to Face2Face team, Mr Chris Groves divulges more about PLM and Sourcing solutions for apparel and fashion industries.

Shall we begin with a gist about your company’s positioning in IT market in US, and globally?

Centric provides product lifecycle management (PLM) and sourcing solutions to companies with hard lines, soft lines or both in the consumer goods and fashion industries.

Our comprehensive solution, Centric 8, provides functionality to address three critical areas needed for success:

• Product Development: Centric 8 manages all product information – design files, color charts, size charts – to become a ‘single record of truth’ about the product so that the entire design team, including designers, product managers, suppliers, regardless of their global location, can easily collaborate to reduce errors, and speed trend-right products to market. Robust Calendar Management assures visibility into tasks and deadlines, and allows managers to focus on critical tasks before they fall behind and become problems.

• Line Planning and Profitability Management: Centric 8 aligns corporate goals with design teams’ activities, assuring everyone is on the same page. With easy to use tools, teams can accurately capture and manage ALL cost information, and understand products’ margin contributions, down to the SKU and even sales channel level, before launching new lines or new products. This knowledge enables teams to make effective product go/no-go decisions during the development cycle – adding resources to profitable products if needed, or cutting losses on products that won’t achieve their margin goals.

• Sourcing: Centric 8 helps to manage suppliers, track and manage compliance, understand complete landed cost information, and consolidate orders for better pricing power. Powerful supplier scorecarding functionality is achieved through flexible, easy-to-use dashboarding and reporting capabilities.

You have been working in apparel manufacturing markets world over. How would you describe their most common areas of difficulties, and requirements that they aspire from IT business solutions?

The recent economic climate has customers focused on technology that will provide several specific benefits. Now more than ever, customers want to leverage costs where ever possible. They seek to cut costs or scale up without adding cost. They view outmoded product development processes – characterized by a proliferation of spreadsheets and manual processes, inefficiency and waste, and product delays – as highly leveragable and ripe for technology investment that would yield significant cost savings and bottom-line impact.

Customers are also extremely interested in rapid implementations so that they can begin to achieve return on investment very quickly. They therefore want a modular solution that can provide out-of-the-box functionality and solve problems rapidly.

And, customers are focused on usability. Their teams are spread across the globe, and intuitive, easy-to-use technology solutions that do not require extensive training are the only way to assure the wide-spread user adoption required so that a technology investment will achieve its goals.

Published on: 15/02/2010

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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