For the fashion and consumer goods industries, where a picture is worth at least a thousand words, Centric Software, Inc.—a leading provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software for apparel, luxury goods and consumer goods companies—is bringing the power of mobility to photo capture and markup linked directly into the product development process with the patent-pending Capture It for iPhone app.
The new app will allow Centric 8 users to “capture inspiration and ideas as they occur in the global marketplace, and instantly share with their team of designers, buyers and suppliers,” says Chris Groves, president and CEO of Centric. “The Capture It for iPhone App lets designers—and their PLM software—collaborate beyond the traditional boundaries of the office, and move into the locations where inspiration and product innovation often happen.”
The Capture It for iPhone App lets users take and upload photos directly to the Centric 8 PLM system quickly, accurately and easily, making them instantly available for review, mark-up and analysis. Key uses include:
Concept/trend board/storyboard process. Working with the Centric 8 PLM storyboard function, the new app allows designers to accurately capture trend inspiration to include in trend boards, and eventually, product lines. Capture It for iPhone captures trend ideas wherever they occur, whether modeled at runway shows or by “sidewalk fashionistas.” The mobile use of photos with markup, combined with Centric’s powerful storyboard capabilities, makes it faster, easier, and, ultimately, less costly to get on-trend inspiration into the development process, says Groves.
Sample review. Simple, quick visual communication means that evaluating samples from suppliers becomes vastly more accurate and time efficient, explains Groves. Technical designers can more easily determine if samples meet specifications. Communication of changes back to the supplier becomes more effective with photos and the ability to associate them with styles in the Centric 8 PLM software system. Coupling this quick-image capture with the robust canvas and mark-up capabilities in Centric 8, says Groves, means that companies can deliver very specific and immediate mark-up comments to suppliers and all team members. “Whether it’s to call out drape problems, or changes to points of measure, for example, Capture It for iPhone handles it,” says Groves.
Buying. On buying trips, the iPhone app can dramatically speed both transactions and the customization process. Reps can capture initial supplier offerings more accurately, as well as mark up and communicate back and forth with development specialists faster on requested customization or changes. On everything from product design to packaging customization with graphics, Capture It for iPhone capture and transmission of images and discussions is much more effective than e-mail, says Groves.
“Innovation—and product development—happens where and when it’s going to happen,” states Groves. “Yet until now, product teams have been restricted to using PLM software to collaborate within the boundaries of the office place.” Inevitably, explains Groves, delays or failures in capturing and communicating product information resulted and adversely affected costs and quality.
“Mobile apps for PLM break those within-the-office barriers and restrictions, freeing the product and sourcing teams—and the PLM software they need—to meet product innovation and delivery demands wherever and whenever they take place,” continues Groves. “Bringing mobility’s speed and convenience to Centric 8 PLM software, the Capture It for iPhone App provides a key tool to help product and sourcing teams capture inspiration, accelerate innovation, decrease costs and ensure the right products get to the market.”
Centric will market the Capture It for iPhone App as an optional module of its Centric 8 PLM software for apparel, luxury goods and consumer goods companies. It is the second mobile app that Centric has added to its PLM system for the fashion and apparel industry in recent months.
The apparel and technology industries have embraced Centric’s first mobile app, the Centric 8 Collection Book for Fashion iPad app, as the first PLM product for the apparel industry to link PLM system data directly to customers through an interactive mobile device. In a recent report from Technology Evaluation Centers, the IT research firm, analyst Kurt Chen states, “The iPad app gives one more appealing reason for customers to adopt Centric Software’s PLM solution.” The iPhone app, says Groves, adds a new dimension. “What the cell phone did for personal and business communications, the Capture It for iPhone App will do for product innovation.”
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