PTC, the Product Development Company®, has announced that UMBRO, a globally recognised manufacturer of soccer-related products, has selected PTC’s FlexPLM solution for retail, footwear and apparel. The solution leverages the power and scalability of Windchill®, PTC’s web-based content and process management solution, to improve the product development process. By improving collaboration and increasing the visibility of all product-related information across its global organisation and the supply chain, UMBRO expects to shorten lead times and reduce development costs.
UMBRO Group (based in the UK) designs, sources and markets football/soccer-related apparel, footwear and equipment for professional and amateur soccer players which are sold in over 90 countries. The company supplies training and playing kits to national teams and some of the leading clubs in the world. Like most companies in this highly competitive industry, UMBRO faces the challenge of balancing shortened design cycles and the growing complexity of its product portfolio.
The global markets for sports apparel and footwear increasingly overlap with the leisurewear market. UMBRO is positioning its range of product lines to benefit from this convergence. Cycle times in the leisurewear market are typically even shorter than in sports apparel, and the cost pressure is extremely high. This trend has driven leading brands like UMBRO to invest in product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions to improve competitive advantage in this fast-moving business.
“We chose PTC’s FlexPLM solution for its broad set of capabilities, including its excellent design interface, strong workflow support and the ability to get started quickly,” said Graham Collins, UMBRO’s PLM project manager. “When we looked at the different solutions available in the market, PTC’s expertise was most convincing. The PTC Value Roadmap tool helped us clearly identify the link between improvements in our product development processes and our corporate objectives.”
The PTC Value Roadmap is a fully configurable, interactive software application that matches a company’s unique goals with vertical industry best practices. It is based on PTC’s long experience working with customers in different vertical industries. Applying the Value Roadmap helps customers realise value from PLM by enabling them to align and prioritise business and product development goals with industry-specific process improvements. The result is a rational technology adoption path that is tailored to each individual organisation’s objectives.
FlexPLM will be used by about 100 users within the design and product development teams at the UMBRO UK headquarters and an office in Hong Kong. PTC’s global services team is deploying the solution and helping to establish new design workflows that will replace the manually-organised product development processes. FlexPLM will be integrated with UMBRO’s existing ERP system, linking the product development and enterprise systems. “We expect the visibility across the enterprise of all design and product development data will not only reduce the development costs and shorten lead times for us, but also help improve overall product quality and consistency throughout our licensee network,” concluded Collins.
“Poor collaboration and disjointed processes in product development are some of the key problems in the footwear and apparel industry, which can have a negative impact on lead times,” said Kathleen Mitford, vice president vertical market strategy, PTC. “These problems can be overcome by a PLM solution that connects the business processes and its participants, allowing them to share information upstream and downstream seamlessly.”