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“There are a lot of components in our tech packs. Once you start to introduce bonding or different, more technical features, you’re packing so much more information in there, so the tech packs have to be really clear. With Excel, you can have accidental miscommunication and that makes the timelines longer…”
Julia Handleman, Vice President of Design and Product Development at Honeylove describes the potential for error when you mix complex products with spreadsheets.
Honeylove was founded in 2018 by Betsie Larkin, a world- touring vocalist who performed with some of EDM’s biggest acts. She reached for shapewear to feel more comfortable on stage but couldn’t find any products that lived up to their promises. Seeking to fill a need, she created her first shapewear product, which soon became a viral success. Today, the company offers a full line of shapewear and has expanded into other categories like tanks, bras, bodysuits, undies and more, all designed in-house and tested on real women to ensure comfort and performance. Honeylove sells direct to consumer via their website, shipping both domestically and internationally.
Handleman describes their products, “We design garments to help people feel their best in their clothes. Our garments use different construction techniques to smooth and shape and accentuate your natural curves, letting you throw on a fitted dress and feel like your best self.”
“We were looking for a system that would help us organize data. We work really closely with our factories and need to ensure that we have the clearest and most detailed tech packs for our factory partners,” says Handleman. Having implemented multiple systems over her career, she was privy to the advantages of PLM and knew when it was time to leave spreadsheets and email behind. Honeylove chose Centric PLM due to its rich features including the calendar, comprehensive vendor function, Adobe Illustrator connector, and user-friendly interface.
Implementation was on time, on budget, and fully remote. Handleman says, “It was a team effort between us and Centric. Centric guided us on what the best practices were combined with Honeylove’s needs to develop efficient data-handling workflows. We got everything configured for the teams so that when they used the system, they could jump in and do their job functions.”
Handleman describes the progression of the users. “I was enthusiastic from the beginning, but we kind of went through a lot of emotions with the broader team. Some people were excited, some people found the transition stressful. But we were able to really address any fears or concerns prior to launch. We did an extensive amount of training both as a group and one on one, so by the time that we were actively working in the system the whole team was truly on board.”
Just four short months after selection, and only one month after go-live, Handleman describes their achievements. “It’s a lot to learn in a very short time, but overall it’s been a very positive experience. I can already see that our factory communication is a lot clearer. We’re building in the system, and simple things like automatically-generated style and fabric numbers are just clean from the get go. We were able to configure the tech packs exactly how we wanted. As each step happens, like the way fit comments are handled, it confirms that it was the right choice for the team.
“There’s a huge upside in efficiency being able to copy tech packs and make changes effortlessly. It cuts down on typos because everything is loaded into the libraries and you’re pulling it in—the data is cleaner. And it’s so nice for the team to have the Adobe® Illustrator plugin to pull in their sketches rather than having to screen shot and paste into Excel or manually upload. Those additional features make things so much easier and effective.”
Handleman lists the departments already on the system. “Our design team, our product development team, our tech team. We are doing everything from using the color libraries, the fabric and trim libraries, building the tech packs, uploading sketches. Right now we’re working on implementing the tolerance and grading and tech design portion. We’re also using the costing module and once we do our vendor onboarding we’ll be able to use costing with them too.”