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Interview with Ruchir Shankar

Ruchir Shankar
Ruchir Shankar
Sales Director
Centric Software
Centric Software

Revolutionising the fashion and apparel industry with PLM
Centric Software is a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes. The Silicon Valley-based company partners with world-leading companies to develop and deploy the best Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) innovations. Centric’s Sales Director based in India Ruchir Shankar speaks to Fibre2Fashion about PLM and the challenges specific to the fashion industry.

How many customers and brands use Centric PLM? Who are your key customers?

Currently, we have over 12,500 brands from all across the globe using Centric PLM. The majority of our customers are brands, retailers and manufacturers from the fashion and apparel industry, followed by food & beverage and cosmetics and personal care.
 

How does PLM contribute to the cause of sustainability?

Centric PLM helps fashion brands and retailers to consolidate reliable sustainability data associated with any given product, while Centric Manufacturing PLM helps garment exporters to support their brand and retail partners with corporate sustainability goals by centralising all product-related data in one digital location, making it easier to maintain and access material and supplier information.

What are the challenges specific to fashion businesses in this region?

One of the biggest challenges for the fashion business is supply chain bottlenecks. There have been many challenging supply chain demands arising from transportation, raw material procurement, demand forecasting and sourcing diversification factors like cost, compliance risks, speed to market, and agility. Another challenge is meeting changing consumer demands. It requires great commitment to be ahead of the competition with innovation, demand forecasting and willingness to invest in modern technology. Lastly, many companies face the challenge of collaboration and managing huge amounts of data. Many companies, small of course but even very large ones, still rely on spreadsheets to manage important product data and BOM (bill of materials). As the business grows, it is a challenge to scale and increase speed to market. Centric PLM aims to solve those challenges with a centralised location for data.

Which core solutions/technologies are in demand in India?

We see a stronger demand for PLM that not only helps improve overall work efficiencies and processes but can also seamlessly integrate with many of the newest technology available today. For example, AI/ML (machine learning) facilitates time-saving and more accurate decision-making. Likewise, utilising 3D technology helps to enhance product design and development resulting in more innovative and sustainable products, optimised costs and faster time to market.

Tell us about the e-book recently launched by Centric for the benefit of global fashion apparel manufacturers.

We launched an e-book Digital Transformation Stories from Global Fashion and Apparel Manufacturers which features six important industry players where you get a glimpse of where they started prior to going digital and how they made a decision that enables them to reap the benefits now.

What new solutions do you plan to offer, especially for the fashion industry?

On top of PLM, we now offer a retail planning solution that utilises powerful data and AI/ML to optimise merchandise financial planning, assortment, range and demand planning as well as store and vendor replenishment. One of our customers, Guess, has doubled its operating margins since implementing Centric Planning.

What are the future plans at Centric for India?

We currently have some of the biggest customers in the fashion and apparel industry in the country such as Tata Trent, Aditya Birla - Pantaloons, Style Union and many more. As we expand in India, we hope to continue to share industry best practices from the rest of the world with our Indian customers and develop with the insights gathered from the local fashion and apparel industry.
Published on: 03/01/2023

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.

This interview was first published in the Jan 2023 edition of the print magazine