Sportswear giant increases productivity and streamlines communications with smooth remote PLM implementation in the midst of a global pandemic
Leading UK fitness apparel and accessories brand Gymshark successfully implemented Centric Software®'s Product Lifestyle Management (PLM) system 100% remotely during a national lockdown. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to plan, design, develop, source and sell products such as apparel, footwear, sporting goods, furniture, home décor, cosmetics, food & beverage and luxury to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.
Founded in Birmingham in 2012 by then-teenager Ben Francis and a group of his high-school friends, Gymshark has developed from a small screen-printing operation, to one of the fastest-growing and most recognisable brands in fitness. Selling directly to customers via 15 international online stores, the company currently has over 4 million customers in over 180 countries, and its social media content reaches an audience of over 12.5M.
Named the UK's fastest growing company 2016 in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100, Gymshark's product team scaled up massively from 44 to 125 people across the UK, Hong Kong and Mauritius in just two years. As such, the company began to struggle with managing complex product data, and was at risk of delays and errors due to multiple working documents being used simultaneously across teams.
Gymshark started its Global Analysis with Centric Software in January 2020, with the UK then going into lockdown in March just as PLM workshops had commenced. Consequently, all training, testing and implementation of Phase 1 working was 100% remote.
Justine McCarthy, Development Director at Gymshark comments on how PLM technology helps the business to react to marketplace challenges, "If we enter into another lockdown, and need to work remotely – our PLM will definitely facilitate the ease in which we share information. In this early stage, we are seeing huge benefits in our Materials process, with an estimated 30% increase in productivity. Admin and communication between teams is seamless, and human error has been greatly reduced. We are able to create more accurate Tech Packs, in a much more efficient way."
Gymshark's Head of Development and Primary Superuser, Annalisa Savio, reflects on how her teams found 'comfort' out of PLM in pandemic times.
"They all found it useful to work on the same platform while working from home," she says. "Our first 'Go Live' was in May 2020, in line with our Critical Path. It was tight, and we never expected to be able to do all of this remotely – but the huge commitment and motivation from the whole team made it happen. The thought of another season with multiple Excel docs was just too painful!"
According to Justine, what set Centric apart from other vendors was its "real understanding of Gymshark's business challenges, its sensible best practice solutions and its support at every step."
Annalisa also explains how Centric's 'out of the box' features provided Gymshark with an excellent foundation to build from, with the exciting prospect of combining the ambition of a young business with the depth of experience that Centric could offer.
"We are very successful, yet still only 10 years old. We felt being able to lean on the experience of Centric would set our young company on a better path."
"We are delighted to be supporting Gymshark with its digital transformation goals," comments Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software. "The partnership has already achieved remarkable results and we are excited to continue this exciting journey with such a dynamic, innovative company."