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“ Previously, we stored product information and tracked them manually in spreadsheets. Now, it's all available with a single click. Our teams can quickly access archived data for material comparisons, margin analysis, and product performance and quality control. ” — Tarik Khan, Founder and Managing Director at Bagster Retail
“This industry demands innovation delivered quickly at all times. Before transitioning to manufacturing our own bags, we used an ERP system for our trading business. After that, we soon realized the need for software that can enhance efficiency in product development and achieve our expansion goals.”
Tarik Khan, Founder and Managing Director at Bagster Retail Private Limited, sheds light to the business transition that opened the opportunity for them to adopt Centric PLM™. Being in a highly demanding industry, the company sought solutions to accelerate product innovation and improve operational efficiency. “The challenge is the lack of visibility into our production stage. Often, we had to manually search for product data from last season or from the last 8 years when we started. Our team also struggled to provide commitments to customer orders without real-time visibility of production schedules.”
Today, Bagster Retail leverages Centric PLM to efficiently manage numerous styles from a diverse customer base and create innovative designs for their in-house brands, Zwart, Bagster and Starz. What are the challenges they faced before adopting PLM and how did they overcome them?
Founded in 2014, Bagster Retail is India’s leading manufacturer and retailer of high-quality backpacks, duffel bags and rucksacks. They are committed to quality and dedicated to bringing an exceptional travel experience for their customers. Bagster Retail initially focused on ladies’ bags sold in offline and online channels. Realizing the quick-changing trends and the need to innovate further, the company expanded its product offerings to include other categories such as luggage, backpacks and laptop bags.
In 2017, the company made a strategic decision to bring manufacturing in-house in pursuit of enhancing travel and customer experience worldwide, prioritizing functionality, durability, style and innovation. The shift in their business model necessitated solutions to address operational inefficiencies, including a lack of real-time visibility into product development, scheduling conflicts in production workloads and miscommunication among teams and customers, which often led to costly errors.
The company initially explored a Supply Chain Planning (SCP) system but realized it didn’t align with their goal of growing the business by 3-4 times more in the next 4-5 years. Through word of mouth, they discovered PLM as a potential solution and went to search for the best one.
Khan narrates, “Among the many PLM solutions in the market, we were most impressed with Centric’s ability to track and manage the entire product lifecycle—from when the product is conceptualized, developed and distributed. We started with zero knowledge about PLM, but we now appreciate its seamless, user-friendly approach to capturing and managing product DNA.”
Bagster Retail Private Limited does a lot of product creation and manages about 500 SKUs per year with plans to grow further. Centric PLM provides a single place to view all of their developments, such as the ability track Time and Action (TNA) milestones using the Calendar and WBS modules.
“The Style Gallery feature gives us the visibility needed to make quicker strategic decisions and provide timely response to our customers. The Calendar Management feature shows the live status of production workloads and schedules, empowering our sales team to provide commitments we can confidently fulfill,” Khan says.
After implementing Centric PLM, teams across all departments at Bagster Retail are more connected than ever. They can now track product development milestones and manufacturing-related activities. They also have real-time product data access and reduced time spent searching for and revising samples.
Khan states, “Previously, we stored product information and tracked them manually in spreadsheets. Now, it’s all available with a single click. Our teams can also quickly access archived data for material comparisons, margin analysis, and product performance and quality control. As our design, development and sample teams are now connected, samples can be created on time.
Showcasing Bagster Retail’s wide range of products has also become more engaging and visually appealing with the use of digital calendar catalogs. “We can now create a catalog immediately based on customer preferences,” says Khan.
Always up for a good challenge in this highly-competitive industry, Khan maintains high hopes and expectations for their extensive use of Centric PLM.
Khan adds, “While the change process is still on-going, we anticipate that Centric will provide us with the long-term stability and adaptability we require. As business owners, efficiency is crucial, and we aim to avoid the hassle of constantly switching software solutions, which often involves extensive planning and migration. Coming from a non-technical background, we greatly appreciate the unique hand-holding support provided by the Centric team, ensuring our successful adoption of the technology.”
Eventually, the company envisions using PLM for their other categories such as active wear and accessories.