“With Centric, the accuracy has improved drastically, which also obviously reduces time and that’s been the huge improvement for us.”
“Before Helsport started using Centric Software, they were using some other very simple PLM systems, but they weren’t complete, and files were often held in Dropbox files or in people’s emails. What happens if someone who’s been designing the tents for 30 years retires?”
John Atkinson, Development Manager at Helsport reflects on the challenges the outdoor brand faced by not having an adequate system in place to manage product development.
Thanks to Centric Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), worries about losing data have been eliminated and teams are free to concentrate on their jobs.
How did Helsport’s PLM journey evolve?
Helsport is originally a Norwegian brand, established in 1951, and is Scandinavia’s leading tent and sleeping bag manufacturer.
Helsport prides itself on high-quality products that set international standards and have been tested by the best. Helsport products are so long-lasting, that it’s not unusual for Helsport tents to be passed down from one generation to the next.
“The testing ground of Norway is an incredible place to design products. If it can stand up to the Norwegian conditions, it can stand up to anywhere,” explains Atkinson.
As Helsport grew, data also increased. It wasn’t managed in one place, causing apprehensions about accuracy and lost information.
“I used to work with a couple of Excel spreadsheets and my colleagues had their spreadsheets, and it was all fine and dandy when you just have a few items on that list. When the list grows, maintaining that in your brain is impossible,” says Bjorn Saetnan, Product Designer at Helsport.
Helsport knew it need a PLM solution and began to access various vendors, a cloud-based system was their number one priority.
“We contacted other customers of Centric and asked them, “What are your experiences? Are you getting the help you need?”. They said “yes” so that’s why we chose Centric,” explains Saetnan.
“With Centric, it was much easier to understand intuitively than most of the other systems that we looked at. We chose Centric because we can easily configure it on our own, we don’t need an IT department to run Centric,” Saetnan adds.
Teams have been very happy with the decision to use Centric PLM.
Atkinson who had experience with Centric in a previous job says, “I was very, very pleased when I found that Helsport had purchased Centric. It is one of the main things that you can use to take a business to the next level.”
Centric PLM provides Helsport with visibility into decisions being made internationally that all have to come together in one place and in one product.
“It’s incredibly powerful. It gives a complete answer. There are so many different elements to it that can be customized. Different parts of it can be chose to suit the individual business,” continues Atkinson
Saving time is a huge benefit of Centric PLM at Helsport. Having one source of truth where everything is stored means there is no need to re-enter information.
“The brilliant thing with Centric Software is you spend some time building the first bill of materials for the first product, but then you put each of those trims and components in the library and that means the next time you want to use it, you don’t have to do that again,” comments Atkinson.
Jarle Narud, Product Designer at Helsport adds, “We can spend less time on paperwork or computer work; more on designing.”
Centric PLM has also increased accuracy, significantly reducing time required to fix mistakes.
“Working with our suppliers, communication is a big part of designing the product. Reducing that part of the time to a minimum is a very crucial point, and with Centric we can get there much faster,” concludes Narud.