On Sprints Forward with Centric

OnRunning, the Swiss running shoe company known for its innovative CloudTec shoe technology, has selected Centric Software to provide its product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. Centric Software provides an innovative enterprise solutions to fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, luxury and consumer goods companies to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.

On was founded in Switzerland in 2010 by former top athlete Olivier Bernhard and his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti. Seeking the perfect running shoe that would provide enough cushioning to offer a soft landing, but enough firmness to propel the runner forward, they came up with a unique sole technology that combined these qualities and released their first shoe: the Cloudsurfer. On is currently the fastest running shoe brand on the planet, and in just over eight years, has become a global brand that is sold in more than 4,000 outlets in over 50 countries.

On’s rate of growth and the addition of a new line of performance clothing brought challenges, explains Marc Maurer, chief operations officer at On, and led them to begin a PLM selection process in 2017.

“We’re growing very fast, and the whole company is digitally transforming,” says Maurer. “We knew a PLM system would help centralize and organize information that currently exists across different departments and files. We wanted to minimize the risk of losing information due to misunderstandings and make it easier for people to get the information they need.

“For instance, our marketing and customer service people need to ask the R&D department the same questions, on a daily basis,” he explains. “Having a central repository of accessible information they can check will save time and allow people to focus on their jobs. We want to make it easy for all our newly-hired people to find information, rather than sending queries to other departments.”

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After getting an overview of various PLM providers, On decided to do some in-depth comparison workshops with Centric and two other solutions. In a survey of On’s designers and product developers who tested the systems, Centric came out on top.

As Maurer explains, “The survey responses focused on how user-friendly and logical Centric PLM is. Centric’s Excel-like interface is a big advantage, as people who had never worked with a PLM system before felt comfortable using it. We were impressed by Centric’s flexibility and knew that we could adjust the system to suit our needs as we continue to grow. We have new people joining us all the time, and don’t have time to do full training days every month. With a short introduction, people can jump right into Centric PLM.”

OnRunning began using Centric’s Field Testing mobile app earlier this year and are looking forward to beginning a full PLM implementation.

“We expect Centric will make it possible to work more efficiently,” says Maurer. “We’ll save time, and therefore money. It will give us a reliable knowledge base of materials, models and previous collections that can be used by all departments, from R&D to marketing. PLM will provide transparency between departments, making it easier for everyone to see what is happening in each one.”

As Maurer concludes, “We have already begun working with Centric on the Field Testing app, and our cooperation as partners has been great. We see this as a long-term partnership that will be mutually beneficial. There is potential for us to evolve together as new needs arise in the future.”