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Helly Hansen Boosts Product Innovation with the Power Of 3D

During the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the renowned Norwegian outdoor performance brand was able to save weeks’ worth of time during its product development process with the ability to quickly create and review 3D samples created within Centric Software’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, luxury, consumer goods and home décor companies to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.

Founded in Norway in 1877, Helly Hansen is a leader in technical sailing and performance ski apparel, as well as premium workwear, with its outerwear, base layers, sportswear and footwear sold in more than 40 countries. The company has developed numerous first-to-market innovations, including the first supple waterproof fabrics more than 140 years ago, and today its ski uniforms are worn and trusted by more than 55,000 professionals around the world, including Olympians, National Teams and more than 200 ski resorts and mountain guiding operations.

As well as struggling with data management, visibility and version control across multiple software platforms, when the Helly Hansen group acquired MUSTO in 2018, integrating a new brand brought additional challenges.

“Before Centric PLM™, one of our biggest challenges was a lack of accountability, with each department using different tools and platforms. We’re growing fast and, in order to develop innovative, high-quality products efficiently, we needed a clear overview of who was doing what, where and when,” says Ferdinand Diener, Process and Quality Manager at Helly Hansen.

Helly Hansen implemented Centric PLM in just six months while also merging with MUSTO. One of the biggest initial benefits for Helly Hansen was the ability to get both brands onto one platform very quickly.

“Because Centric PLM is so fast and easy to use, people are able to do a more thorough job, create more products and improve quality oversight,” says Diener. “We’re a quality-driven, innovation-focused brand, so this is critical.”

What’s more, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with social distancing imposed and travel halted, it was difficult to review physical samples, with sample production severely delayed, or even cancelled altogether.

However, with innovative digital solutions provided by Centric PLM and 3D Connect technology giving expanded 3D functionality to PLM users, Helly Hansen has been able to adapt to recent market disruptions, improving the efficiency of its communications across different departments, particularly around sample production. There was the added benefit of becoming more sustainable in the process and reducing their carbon footprint due to a decreased need for physical samples, reduced shipping, material waste, etc.

“Centric’s 3D Connector now helps us with communication, and we can do things last minute that we couldn’t have done previously. For example, if a physical sample isn’t available, or we don’t want to wait weeks for a prototype to arrive, we can create a 3D version in a matter of hours,” says designer Mhairi Bannerman, who works within the ski and sailing team on Helly Hansen’s technical garments.