Alinéa adopts TXT Retail for Product Lifecycle Management

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Alinéa, the specialised retailer in furnishing and decorative products that's part of the Auchan group, has selected TXT Retail's Product Lifecycle Management software – TXTPLM - in a bid to improve performances in product development and streamline processes between all different departments: from Product Managers, Buyers, Designers, Quality, and Sourcing, as well as suppliers.

Alinéa will be implementing the new solution using the TXT AgileFit methodology, which leads to faster project roll-outs thanks to a full set of documentation and process best-practices acquired from managing over 150 PLM projects with other retailers and manufacturers.

Alinéa is a French company, founded in 1989 and part of the Auchan Group. With currently 29 stores in France and an e-commerce site, Alinéa is a key player in the home furnishing and decorative products market. The mission of Alinéa is to embellish home interiors and everyday life with a single commitment: trendy, quality products at an accessible price. To hit this target, Alinéa has been developing its Design & Style Centre since 2012, which elaborates on trends while creating innovative, functional and creative products under the Alinéa brand.

Guillaume Perrot, Merchandising, Buying and Production Director at Alinéa, explained that today, the different information systems and tools used across departments mean decentralised information.

"Our business is extremely dynamic: we manage over 15,000 product variants with multiple ranges coming in different styles and colours. Some products are never out-of-stock, others are seasonal; some are developed in-house by our Design & Style department, while others are co-developed with suppliers, or picked from their catalogues. To cope with this complexity, and further improve speed to market, we needed a centralised source of information for all stakeholders, and a single integrated process. We found in TXTPLM, the best fit to our needs."

The TXTPLM solution will support the process from end-to-end: from planning the offer and defining its financial objectives and product mix, through more effective sharing of designers' inputs with buyers, to reinforcing the management of product and materials data and specifications. The solution includes the Excel connector that enables effective collection planning, placeholder management, as well as the ability to generate sample codes. The tool also enables simulation and updating of all transportation and landed costs, integrating with the company's ERP system.

Everyone involved in the process accesses a single source of information, with no duplications, and no re-keying of data. The software also ensures that all departments involved adhere to workflow calendars and deadlines, with checklists and indicators to ensure control and progress monitoring.

"We chose TXT Retail for the ability to cover the end-to-end process with proven functionality and their agile deployment methodology, as well as for the flexibility of the system which can easily support our business model where some products are developed by us, and others are sourced or co-developed. Also, we appreciated the responsiveness of the TXT team, which was fast in understanding our needs," said Perrot.

Expected benefits from the project include: reduced product development timelines and time to market, the simplification of the process, information integrity and easier sharing with suppliers. More accurate collection planning will result in better balanced collections that meet customers' expectations, together with Alinéa's commercial and strategic targets.

"We've developed a very close relationship with Alinéa and we are proud to be working with such a motivated and energetic team. Companies featuring fashion and fashion-like business models like Alinéa, find strong benefits from the tight integration of planning, design, development and sourcing that our solution provides. We are looking forward to supporting them in their journey to end-to-end PLM and feel sure we're able to surpass all their requirements," said Simone Pozzi, Managing Director at TXT Retail.

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