Fynch-Hatton has been a successful German menswear brand for over 20 years, that recently diversified its product offering to include both a women's collection and homeware. Their sudden growth highlighted the expanding complexity of their product development processes to be disjointed and spread throughout several file storage solutions. At the same time, staff changes revealed a lack of transparency internally which led to a loss of intellectual property and a breakdown in communications. Although the company had an ERP system, they quickly realized that it wasn’t enough to ensure the same high level of product development and design of their new collections, as they’ve so fondly become known for over the years. And so they chose to invest in Delogue’s PLM.
The Story of Fynch-Hatton.
Roger Brandts, a young German textile student, found his inspiration for a menswear fashion line of functionality, comfort and impeccable style in 1998, following Redford’s glowing performance as Denys Finch Hatton in the film ‘Out of Africa’. Serving both the every-man and the adventure-seeker alike for over 20 years, the Fynch-Hatton brand has grown to include 2.700 points of sale and 2 physical store locations, alongside launching a well-polished e-commerce platform in 2018.
In 2021, amid a global pandemic, Fynch-Hatton launched its first women’s collection - hoping to move away from a selected category to a total look brand. Taking that one step further, the brand introduced ‘Fynch-Hatton Living’.
The limitations of ERP systems - Why your 1st step into Digitalization shouldn’t be your last.
Despite their achievements and success, Fynch-Hatton ran into a typical challenge of running a fashion brand - to keep an overview of the total business, whilst being forced to focus on pressing urgencies - a drawback of operating within a fast-paced industry.
“Over the 20+ years of our company's history, our developments and, above all, our daily business has gradually emerged out of necessity and are correspondingly inorganic and often not very process-driven. This has become more and more of a problem, especially in product data maintenance. “
Like many embarking upon digitalization, Fynch-Hatton first invested in ERP software, believing that it would service the scope of product development needs along with their financial operations. Although a definite step in the right direction, it shouldn’t be the end of the road - as they soon realized:
“We could barely support our development process with data. Products were being created directly in the ERP system which meant additional work and complexity, as it is very unintuitive and not product-driven.”
When growth becomes a bad thing for business, your business needs to change.
Whilst Fynch-Hatton’s in-house team remained lean, stakeholders within their product development processes grew along the supply chain, which not only made the manual tasks unmanageable but also slowed their product development processes and impacted their time-to-market - something no fashion brand wants to face. Product manager, Frank Hormesch, explains how that impacted his day-to-day activities:
"There was a lot of manual work going on before using Delogue. I created PDF worksheets manually for each style, which I then sent by email or We Transfer to the suppliers, making sure they received them all. Then I had to keep manual Excel lists of which suppliers needed which style and in how many colors etc. I had to put it all into the ERP system one at a time.”
Even internally, Fynch-Hatton’s communication was exclusively via e-mail which became a major problem during a change in personnel. When a colleague left their team, it became strikingly obvious that there was no transparency in their communication at all.
“Nobody knew what was discussed, what had already been done, or what was still left to do. We were left asking suppliers what we’d agreed on.” Explains Frank.
“This is when we all realized - No, this has to change. This is too risky for us as a company and us as individuals.”
Why Fynch-Hatton chose Delogue PLM & how they use it.
Exploring different workarounds to their issue of internal transparency, they quickly realized that they needed a dedicated software solution. And that as a growing company, it is important to build a solid foundation that can support their future growth - “We checked if we can use a shared email account that everyone could gain access to, but that would have opened us up to security risks and issues with data protection, so it wasn’t as easy.”
Initially, when Fynch-Hatton started their search for a PLM, they based their criteria upon a direct comparison of cost and usability of the market availability. This led them directly to Delogue’s honest and upfront pricing structure, which initiated a sales call to learn more about the platform. But they quickly became impressed with the different tools that smarten the product development process such as the Delogue ‘pricing´ feature.
“Thanks to Delogue, we are starting to map our products digitally much earlier in the development process, allowing us to work in a much more product-oriented way. We are also happy about the possibilities of evaluation.”
The Delogue pricing module allows for the opportunity to negotiate and work with your pricing across all levels. In conjunction with the Analytics module, Fynch-Hatton aims to make better-informed decisions for future collection planning, based on the data collected and stored from previous seasons.
Fynch-Hatton is at a cross-point for their business; launching two new categories and moving from a strictly menswear brand to a lifestyle brand. It’s a trajectory that matches their ethos and falls in line with the natural progression of a heritage clothing company. But with growth, comes added complexity of diverse product development and larger teams. Choosing Delogue meant they could take these brave new steps with confidence, knowing that their momentum and clarity of process would no longer be clouded.
“In this way, we were able to directly implement processes for the new women's clothing and living division”, reflects Frank. “Resulting in much less direct work in the ERP, leaving more time for working on the product and optimizing it for our customers.”
Thanks to Delogue PLM, they were able to direct their energy and time back into their products, ensuring they stepped into the worlds of women's fashion and homeware with their best foot forward.
Book a discovery call and find out how Delogue fits into your digital landscape and what problems it can solve for you, your brand, and your customers.