Spending less time just catching up on what other departments are doing will allow us to ultimately put out better products.
CAMPBELL, Calif. (PRWEB) September 07, 2021
Howler Brothers, the outdoor apparel company, has selected Centric Software®’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution, Centric SMB for emerging brands. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to plan, design, develop, source and sell products such as apparel, footwear, sporting goods, furniture, home décor, cosmetics, food & beverage and luxury to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas and founded in 2011, Howler Brothers was formed by friends Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian. The name of the company was inspired by the Howler monkeys they heard on their surf trips to Costa Rica. They set out to make apparel that fit with their fly-fishing, surfing lifestyle. Their designs are inspired by geography, fashion, water and art.
The company had data housed in multiple, siloed systems. Referring to the google docs and spreadsheets they were using, Alex Mette, COO at Howler Brothers says, “We weren’t sure what was the most recent information. We’re continuing to grow, so we need the ability to better plan and have insight into the future of the brand.”
They also wanted to improve efficiency by reducing redundancy and errors, plus collaborate better with their vendors and ramp up DTC via their website.
The pandemic brought changes to their business. Mette says, “Prior to the pandemic, we were about 55% direct and 45% wholesale, but those [wholesale] accounts went dormant during the shutdown. The shift to e-commerce came and all of a sudden—there was a flood of traffic coming to our site. Thankfully in the fall, the wholesale accounts came back but It brought to light some opportunities in direct sales and strengthening partnerships in wholesale.”
In their search for a PLM solution, Howler Brothers evaluated several providers. “We wanted to make a big enough change in what we were doing to justify the time investment of our people. We saw a few systems that we didn’t feel were a significant enough upgrade over our existing processes,” says Mette. “Being able to get up and running on day one but then have the flexibility to go forward and build out new functionality as we need it with Centric was key for us.” Howler Brothers also took the opportunity to discuss Centric with some other brands that had similar products, and were able to get answers to questions they had. The implementation is fully remote.
Howler Brothers works with factories across multiple time zones and countries like China, Indonesia, Guatemala, Pakistan, Bangladesh. “We’re continuing to move from seasonal product in one collection, to rolling out more frequent, smaller collections throughout the year which is good from a customer perspective. But it’s really important to be able to execute on that, to have a good process all the way through,” says Mette.
Howler Brothers looks forward to improving visibility into product development. “Concept kind of happens in a silo and the rest of the team doesn’t have a ton of visibility until sample time. Not having visibility into the product pipeline creates some issues for marketing from a planning perspective,” says Mette. “Having that visibility from concept all the way through to PO placement is huge. Spending less time just catching up on what other departments are doing will allow us to ultimately put out better products.”
Chris Groves, President and CEO of Centric Software says, “We are happy to be partnering with Howler Brothers. They are a young, growing brand with a promising future and we are excited to play a part in their continued success.”
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Howler Brothers (http://www.howlerbros.com)
Howler Brothers clothing designs honor the soul, passion and timeless style of sports such as surfing and fly fishing but update historic garment ideas with modern influence from waves, water, geography, fashion and art. Every garment and accessory is crafted with functionality and attention to detail at the forefront. We avoid trendy or overly traditional ideas and use small batch production and collaborations with artists and craftsmen to create original, alternative offerings. Our base of operations, Austin, Texas, is miles from the nearest ocean but provides daily inspiration with its vibrant and diverse creative culture.
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