Patagonia Embarks on Digital Transformation with PLM Roadmap


Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, California. A certified B Corporation, the company is recognized internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism—and its contributions of more than $145 million in grants and in-kind donations to date. Patagonia is in business to save our home planet and is known as one of the more sustainable brands within the sector of sports and outdoor clothing. They use their business and voice to act on environmental issues facing our world.

Patagonia’s product offerings include men’s, women’s, and kids’ apparel and gear that support outdoor sports like surfing, climbing, mountain biking, and fly fishing. One of Patagonia’s core values is to build the best products that provide function, reparability, and durability. Their focus is on limiting their ecological impacts by building products that will last for generations, can be recycled, and overall, have a better environmental footprint.


Patagonia is embarking on a path for digital transformation and is committed to optimizing business processes and tools. Patagonia currently runs on an expired version of their PLM development software which is now left unsupported. Their goal is to modernize their business process to drive efficiency and workflow.

ArcherGrey was chosen to be Patagonia’s partner for their PLM discovery work as the initial phase of their journey of upgrading their current FlexPLM system, unlocking additional PLM functionality, and optimizing current business processes in the PLM system.


ArcherGrey started the journey with an 11-week discovery process which included an in-depth process assessment, multiple current state system demos, and functionality reviews. System demos of a future version were also performed after further assessment of the challenges that needed to be solved. Overall, the process assessment documented their current PLM capability landscape, maturity level, and value framework.

After over 50 hours of interviews conducted with the business users and IT team, ArcherGrey used their PLM Value Framework methodology to provide a multi-year roadmap of recommended transformational phases. Each of these transformational phases targeted the 14 value opportunities that were derived from the assessment output.

In addition to the PLM roadmap, ArcherGrey analyzed the current technical landscape and provided an implementation plan for the recommended upgrade.

ArcherGrey’s recommendation started with an upgrade to a supported version of FlexPLM, version K 12.0.2, which will build the foundation that will support additional transformation. In addition, ArcherGrey recommended new functionality within FlexPLM to improve collaboration, workflow, and data integrity as well as revised business processes to support the new functionality.

The PLM upgrade and transformational work will be critical to support Patagonia’s future Digital Transformation projects and Go-To-Market activities.


Immediate Impact

  • ArcherGrey’s business assessment provided an understanding of the value FlexPLM could play in improving workflow efficiencies and collaboration around product development and GTM activities.
  • ArcherGrey provided a detailed analysis of the pain points the users currently have regarding connectivity, data accuracy, accessibility, reporting, and vendor collaboration using their current product development toolsets. This resulted in a realization of the inefficiencies and business impacts of working outside of PLM.
  • In the analysis, ArcherGrey discovered 25% of Patagonia’s customizations can be removed. Of those to be removed, more than 80% are from complex JSP-overrides, causing a significant improvement for future upgradeability.

Future Impact

Following the transformational roadmap will assist Patagonia’s business in making informed and impactful decisions with improved data accuracy. User engagement will increase due to the modernized FlexPLM platform and processes and collaboration will improve across multiple platforms.