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Helinox Strengthens Global Growth with Centric PLM™

Digital-savvy outdoor brand, Helinox, implements Centric PLM™ to streamline complex processes and connect global teams.

“When implementing a new digital solution, the most challenging part is to connect both existing solutions and new solutions seamlessly. Centric PLM has done an outstanding job in that respect.” — Ted Ganio, CEO, US at Helinox

Challenges

  • Difficult to handle expanding & complex data manually
  • Lacked a system for data sharing globally & remotely
  • Manually completing tasks was slow and prone to errors

Results

  • Immediate access to data regardless of time & location
  • Real-time collaboration on one platform
  • Faster onboarding for new employees
  • Tasks are quicker, easier and more accurate to complete
  • Standardized global process for product development

The Project

Recognizing the End of Spreadsheets

“As the scale of the business expanded globally, the complexity of merchandising, collaboration and creating seasonal products has been increased. That made it challenging for us to share and update data by hand, using spreadsheets. We came to a conclusion that there was a high demand for a centralized platform.”

After a sales growth of 92% in just three years, Jay, Operations Manager at Helinox’s Vietnam branch explains why Helinox made the decision to implement Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the enthusiastic and digital-savvy teams at outdoor brand Helinox welcomed the remote implementation of Centric PLM in December 2021 and have been executing product-related tasks through it ever since.

How did the technology-driven team lead the company through digital transformation?

Ultra-Light High-Strength Aluminum Products with Global Appeal

Helinox, launched by Dong-A Aluminum from South Korea in 2009, was spun off to separate the distribution and manufacturing of ‘Chair One’, an ultra-light camping chair, which became a hit overseas and domestic market.

Since then, Helinox has continued to make design-led, lightweight, portable furniture using next-generation construction and advanced manufacturing.

Helinox is currently distributing its products to 30 countries around the world including the US, Europe, South Korea and Japan.

The company has had successful collaborations with world-famous brands including Supreme, Disney, Porsche, Maison Kitsune and BTS.

Digital Natives’ Push for PLM

Helinox increased sales from 30 billion KRW in 2019 to 57.8 billion Won in 2021, of which 27 billion Won was made in the overseas market.

The company quickly outgrew their start-up ways of working which could not keep up with the scale of the business. The digital-savvy team members at Helinox, including Jay, Operations Manager in the Vietnam branch recognized the need for new and efficient processes.

“Business in the US and Europe was executed through local offices, and sales in Japan was done through retailers such as Montbell and A&F,” Jay explains.

Centric PLM was identified as the best technology solution to manage and streamline product development for the rapidly expanding global business.

“PLM guides product development and records the journey of product assets,” adds Jay.

Company-Wide Support

Helinox is driven by young and creative talents who are empowered to make real-time decisions from the bottom-up. Many started their careers at Helinox and have continued to progress within the organization, using Centric PLM will be an asset to their daily working tasks.

The executive team was fully on-board with the decision to implement PLM, with the CEO, Young Lah having a high interest in a digital transformation strategy.

Teams overseas have also welcomed the decision to introduce Centric PLM. Ted Ganio, CEO of the US office, shares his experience of using Centric PLM at his former job at Camelbak.

“After many years of working in many different countries, I came to recognize Centric, which has the highest market share in PLM for Fashion & Apparel industry – at least 70%. Centric has a reputation for extensive R&D and prompt updates of new digital trends. When implementing a new digital solution, the most challenging part is to connect both existing solutions and new solutions seamlessly. Centric PLM has done an outstanding job in that respect.”

Building a Global Standard

Having a cloud-based PLM solution is a game-changer for Helinox. As the company grows internationally, teams are able to access the information they need on-the-go and employees are empowered to work from home if required, too.

Jihye Park, Lead Developer at Helinox comments on the success of the project, “After implementing Centric PLM, users are now able to immediately access the data they need by simply logging into the portal regardless of time and location. There is no need to request or deliver data via e-mail or fax. By accessing the data on one platform in real-time and having the means for collaborating, the accuracy and efficiency of work have been greatly improved.”

“As the complexity and volume of products increases, the development process also becomes longer and more multifaceted. PLM helps make all tasks including data searches, product updates and managing workflows, easier and more accurate.”

“In a nutshell, Helinox is establishing a global standard for its working methods,” adds Jay.

Faster Onboarding

Centric PLM’s intuitive interface is appealing and easy-to-use for new employees. Park adds, “The time and energy required for onboarding new employees who are mostly digital natives, has greatly reduced as well.”

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