Surefront vs. Centric PLM
PLM software makes it easier to communicate with your product development team. But how do you decide which software is best for your business?
Below, you can compare Surefront with Centric PLM, which is a part of the Centric software suite. You’ll see how these two platforms stack up when it comes to product development, project management, and more.
The Benefits of Centric
With Centric PLM, large brands are able to consolidate work and share information across multiple teams within that single brand. This means that stakeholders and project managers can track and comprehensively report -- Centric boasts decently robust dashboarding and reporting capabilities -- on projects and glean insights in order to make process improvements. In this way, Centric PLM decreases internal data siloes, enabling better collaboration and coordination amongst internal teams.
Centric PLM also allows companies to integrate better with the design process as they offer out of the box AI and Adobe design integrations.
The Shortcomings of Centric
User experience is important when it comes to any type of software. Centric scores anywhere from a B-Plus/C-Minus on theirs. Why? Centric's user interface parallels that of Excel, for better or worse. If you're an Excel lover, this might sound like a pro to you, but the difficulty is that Centric's development team is never going to be anywhere close to the size of the Google or Microsoft teams that are dedicated to Google Sheets or Excel, respectively. They're never going to be able to keep up... meaning they will always fall short of user expectations when customers compare their Centric interface with that of Excel.
Speaking of Excel, Centric's reporting and dashboarding features are good, but are they as robust as Excel's? One would expect more robust capabilities from a project management system for new product development.
Remember when we mentioned that large brands like the ability to work with multiple teams within a single brand? But what if they want to work with team members outside of that brand (think suppliers, vendors and factories)? Centric PLM offers essentially nothing when it comes to incorporating vendor partners...and vendor partners are where half of all your product information comes from. What does this mean? Many of your team members who work both internally and externally will be forced to do a large chunk of their work in Centric for the benefit of the overall team and for management. But they will still have to do a significant amount of their work outside of Centric in order to collaborate with vendor partners. This means wasted time migrating information in and out of Centric to accommodate various team members.
If you are looking for a product information management module, know that Centric has a modest one, but it is not robust enough to support teams outside of product development and merchandising, such as eCommerce sales, B2B sales, and marketing. Other tools will be required to support those teams, and then all systems will need to be integrated into a central ERP in order for product information to flow through to other wings of the business. It is fairly complex to integrate Centric with other systems, so you are looking at a major time and budget commitment if you go that route.
Centric's pricing is not publicly available. The company customizes pricing based on each potential customer's business needs. But it is widely known as being a pretty heavy, pretty expensive system to adopt. Implementation costs alone for Centric can equal the entire first year subscription cost and implementation cost of competing PLM systems.
Centric is known to be slow to implement as well, so if you are looking to get up and running quickly, you likely want to look elsewhere.
When To Choose Centric
Centric is a great solution for a very specific set of brands. Large (think billion dollar) brands choose Centric when they are having trouble with internal project management of their new product development, especially if their teams are true Excel aficionados.
Brands who are looking for robust reporting and who value that reporting over efficient use of team members' time may also decide to implement Centric. We say that because Centric may actually create more work for those team members that are designing, developing, and producing products. Instead of working within email and Excel exclusively, they now need to pull information into and out of a new system, which is time consuming and leaves tremendous room for human error.
When To Go With Surefront
Looking for a shared workspace that gives your internal and external teams (supplier partners, vendors and factories) a place to fully collaborate all the way from new product ideation through production so that you don't have to spend all of your time migrating data into and out of a purely internal PLM system like Centric? Surefront's your tool. This is important if you want to run an efficient, fully collaborative process without the risk of human error. It's also key to eliminating the lion's share of administrative tasks and savings tons of time for your team members. As a bonus, less busy work usually equates to happier team members, which translates into improved employee retention.
Beyond that, Surefront has a best in class product information management module that helps teams outside of product development and merchandising find and utilize the information that those two teams are creating and bringing to market in order to facilitate eCommerce sales, marketing, customer support and more.
Surefront's user experience is top notch as well, making it a great tool for any team made up of digital natives.
Feature Comparison: Surefront vs. Centric PLM
Surefront offers several features Centric doesn’t, including collaborative workspaces, contextual communication, visual search and sorting abilities. Here’s a complete list: