Bony Levy + Surefront
Innovative West Coast Fine Jeweler Bony Levy Trusts Surefront for PLM, shaving weeks off of production time, days off line sheet development and hours off vendor communication and SKU management.
Topline Success Metrics
- 8x increase in speed to market - Shorter Product Fulfillment Cycle
- Reduced cycle from an average of 24-32 weeks per product to 4 weeks.
- 33% Faster Product Creation Cycle - New product development time was cut from over 45 days to less than 30 days.
- 14,000 Products - Single source of truth master list for 14,000 products at a rate of 900 new SKUs introduced per quarter.
Surefront helped Bony Levy improve product information, streamline their processes, implement real-time communication with internal and external partners and stakeholders, and reduce time spent in line sheet creation in NuOrder — cutting that process down from days to minutes.
Bony Levy shines with Surefront
If you’ve ever been captivated by a ring in a Nordstrom jewelry catalog, chances are you were actually under the spell of Bony Levy, a Los Angeles-based giant in the jewelry business for over 25 years. Aside from the firm’s exclusive Nordstrom retailership, the firm also makes their everyday wearable fine jewelry available direct to consumers through the brand’s e-commerce site. If that sounds like big business; it is.
This year alone, Bony Levy expects to bring in 800 new items to the market across almost 2,700 new SKUs, at an average of around 900 SKUs introduced per quarter. With that level of volume and consistent sales, Bony Levy needed to implement a PLM system to better manage product development, vendor and supplier communication and inventory management. “We've been fortunate to have very good business for a very long time,” explains Project Manager Andrea Saal. “But we've been using the same inventory systems, same shipping systems, same accounting systems, and they're all just ready to bust based off of our growth.”
Adopting Surefront and Managing Inventory
In addition to rolling out a new ERP system, Bony Levy turned to Surefront, a unified product collaboration platform of PLM + CRM + PIM solutions implemented to drive growth, streamline omni-channel sales, tighten merchandising and product development communication and documentation, as well as accelerate sales via improved speed to market. “Our old process before Surefront largely lived with Excel spreadsheets and email. So we were looking for one place to keep it all together and a shared drive is not really the right place,” says Saal. Historical data was also getting lost in the event of employee turnover. “When we were setting up new SKUs in all of our systems, each one was done independently. There was a lot of room for error.” To remove the margins for error in inventory management, Bony Levy implemented Surefront to act as a third party system to reduce chaos interacting with their existing internal ERP system. “Before Surefront, we would have the same item living in our inventory system 15 different ways with four different UPCs, and that's just not the intent. Surefront allowed us to really streamline, bring everything together and have one version of the truth, and that's really what our ultimate goal was,” Saal elaborates.
The Bony Levy team now has that single source of truth — a master list of over 14,000 products with all of their data for easier collaboration across teams and multiple systems, thanks to the ease of uploading external data into Surefront from other systems or spreadsheets. Real time commenting, dynamic category management, 3D imagery, and standardized naming conventions also improved the way Bony Levy maintains product information. Since Surefront was adopted, Bony Levy has seamlessly improved the quality, access, and storage of information for all existing products, as well as the 900-plus products introduced each quarter.
Ramping up Product Development the Surefront Way
“Before Surefront, when our design teams would send us CADs, we were printing them all out by paper to review together,” reveals Bony Levy Product Development Specialist, Christine Perona. “So we were printing out thousands of paper drawings, going through them and circling sketches that we liked, then Bony would make his notes of what he wanted to tweak or add. And then from those printouts, I had to go put the notes on an Excel sheet, clip each of the images, and then write all of his notes and then send that information to the vendors through an Excel sheet.”
Perona and her development partners needed a much more efficient way to manage project information for product development. Surefront has now eliminated the need for costly printing, allowing developers to review everything at once within the digital platform, as well as to use Surefront’s visual image hosting capabilities to filter prototype designs, making change decisions much more quickly than before. Perona continues, “We can directly make our comments to the vendors and have real time responses, so it's a lot less email communication back and forth, trying to reiterate what it is that we want to change or what our timelines are within Surefront. Now, our touchpoints are much more condensed.” Surefront has helped Bony Levy cut their product development workflow from 45 days to under 30, and even better, Surefront helped cut a 26-32 week product development cycle down to 4 weeks or less with real time design and edit information done directly within the platform, instead of internal spreadsheets and emails.
“Surefront has opened the door for us as a product development team to expand our creativity and organization within our workflow, but also it's serving our new inventory system by generating personalized exports to help our logistics teams help our sales team. Surefront’s really been a competitive advantage for us as a company— not just for product development but company-wide.”
Director of Product Development
Not only did Bony Levy improve early product development and approval processes by consolidating product data in a single space, Surefront helped them standardize their process as well. “Before Surefront, setting up those new SKUs into NuOrder took several days. We had to take our Excel sheet of the whole master spread of all of our samples and what we were keeping, and then had to audit everything; create little formulas to condense the description names, and collect all of that together whereas now with Surefront, we can create customized exports, which makes it easy to export quickly.”
In addition, now the product concept stage includes at least three different item data templates (delivery, price bracket, retail price, collection) to properly review the items for sample orders. Historical data is also easily accessible in the platform catalog and bulk upload allows all data to be easily added and organized into one space to review items and add modification notes for sample orders.
Controlling Margins and Sales with Surefront
“The Bony Levy lifestyle is really about wearing all your precious items on a daily basis. We try to develop products that span multiple generations from kids, women, and men. So really, there's truly something for everyone,” says Tanya Ellington, Director of Product Development. Given Bony Levy’s commitment to such a diverse product portfolio, Ellington and her team needed to use Surefront to help track and monitor product movement from vendors to sales, and with 900 SKUs a quarter, she has much to analyze. “Reducing duplication in terms of product is huge. It allowed sales people to see their available products in the catalog before placing an order to reduce exposure of buying unnecessary items,” Ellington says. Surefront’s ability to create event history for automated tracking and monitoring helped Ellington to see order history and sales saved within the catalog by item for a clear streamlined view. She was able to use filtering, tagging and categorizing dynamics to discern the difference between products at market and in development."
“Surefront just makes everything so much smoother, so much easier for me to manage my team because the communication gap isn't there. I don't have to follow up and chase information down. I can just go in there and just check and see that it was done.”
Director of Product Development
Surefront’s impact has already been felt within the first year of the firm’s implementation and there is ample opportunity for Bony Levy to leverage even more value out of the solution in the future. “In the almost eight years I have been here, our business has grown so much from what was maybe a much more concise product category and strategy, to growing and expanding into multiple retailers and more countries,” adds Ellington. “[Now] being able to refine our assortment mix, being able to sell to more retailers, because all I have to do is just click. Our speed to market will dramatically improve. I also foresee the possibility of being able to actually reduce the amount of SKUs that we are developing. We should be able to look at all of our gold hoop earrings to understand what models are performing the best so we can cut down on offerings that are similar in style or popularity. The things that we don't have visibility to today in our reporting system, Surefront will be able to just export and help us understand.