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Handy Living + Surefront

Surefront’s PLM helped the Handy Living team reduce the average new product development cycle from 6-12 months to 3 months per product.

CASESTUDY-HANDYLIVING
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Topline Success Metrics

  • 50-75% acceleration in new product development timelines
  • Surefront’s PLM helped the Handy Living team reduce the average new product development cycle from 6-12 months to 3 months per product
  • Eliminated more than 450 hours of manual input per month setting up products for retail partners and listing products on ecommerce websites
  • 98% reduction in the average time of resolution for custom inquiries.

Business Transformation with Surefront

If the name “Handy Living” is familiar to you, it’s probably because your home has at least one product from this leading home furnishings brand. Not only does Handy Living operate in partnership with major North American retailers including Walmart, Target, Costco, Home Depot and many others, the company also serves a vibrant, direct-to-consumer market. The company’s roots go back to the early 1900s, yielding a legacy of deep expertise in furniture, hardware and manufacturing, steeped across nearly a century of steady business growth. Handy Living leverages this expertise to constantly improve their own manufacturing and product development in innovative ways that create exceptional value and convenience for customers, while reducing their ecological footprint. While there are a myriad of ways to adapt your business foundation to modern times, Handy Living was willing to share one secret of their success — adopting Surefront, a unified PLM + CRM + PIM product collaboration platform to drive efficiency and growth. 

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Staying ahead of consumers’ needs while also exceeding standards for service and compliance for the world's largest retailers can be a challenge in even the best of circumstances. The remarkable team at Handy Living needed to digitally transform their business processes to achieve their business goals, and Surefront proved to be a trusted, multi-value solution. 

 

Leveraging Surefront's PIM Solution

Due to the sheer volume of their business, Handy Living’s catalog contained thousands of finished products and components. The catalog also hosted 200+ attributes per product, making the company’s product information process a huge lift for the team to be able to organize and keep consistently updated. Not only that, the products were sold both at scale to large retail customers, like Walmart, and via ecommerce platforms, like Amazon and Wayfair. Setting up products while ensuring data accuracy across different retail and ecommerce segments added to Handy Living’s headaches. Each retailer or ecommerce platform had different item setup formats, comprising 150 to 250 attributes per product, with their own unique standards for data validation and compliance.

Just setting up a single product for a single retailer/ecommerce platform would commonly take 60-90 minutes, but Surefront’s automations and intuitive PIM platform offered a transformative platform to help Handy Living reduce that time significantly.  Instead of committing an hour to an hour and a half worth of manual work to set up a single new product on a single retail or ecommerce platform, the Handy Living team used Surefront to set up hundreds of products in just a few minutes, and even better yet, the platform allowed team members to answer customer inquiries in seconds.

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Reducing Time in Product Development, Increasing Speed to Market

While the sales and customer service teams were immersed in managing the new Surefront PIM platform across Handy Living’s product lines and retail segments, the product development team was focused on how to improve their product lifecycle. On average, the new product development cycle would take between 6 and 12 months for an individual product, requiring Handy Living teammates and external suppliers/vendors to exchange hundreds of emails, dozens of spreadsheets, PDFs and image files. This process provided little transparency to management about the state of new product development, made hand off to sales and customer service teams time consuming, and left many opportunities for error. Handy Living selected Surefront to empower their industry-leading team members to simplify operations, centralize data, and supercharge their production times and improve their speed to market.

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The firm adopted Surefront’s Product Lifecycle Management solution, which allowed the product development team at Handy Living to substantially reduce the number of touchpoints and manual inputs required to bring new products to market. By utilizing Surefront’s shared collaborative tools with suppliers/vendors, the team could now rely on partners to contribute directly to new product data. Also, by centralizing all of these efforts in a single platform, the Handy Living team was provided total transparency on major milestones and development timelines. Ultimately, through adoption of Surefront’s PLM, the Handy Living team reduced the average development cycle of a new product from 6-12 months to 3 months. Since the products came to market faster, each one also had a greater opportunity to be sold, boosting sales numbers and offering opportunities for additional distribution data and margin management.

Multi-use Value in Surefront Across Teams

The team at Handy Living was looking for one solution to streamline operations ranging from new product development and production to wholesale and ecommerce listings. They found that solution in Surefront’s Unified Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Product Information Management (PIM), and Wholesale Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

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Daily operations for both the sales and customer service teams improved significantly, as Surefront’s Product Information Management (PIM) solution was utilized as a centralized repository and single source of truth for product information. Being able to answer customer inquiries in mere seconds, instead of across multiple team members or bulky email exchanges improved retail relations and maximized product availability. Transforming the product development process in Surefront to set up multiple new products in the time it used to take to set up one new product on a single retail or ecommerce platform also proved to be invaluable in speeding up time to market. Not only did this save the team hundreds of hours of work every month, it enabled the business to list and sell products faster, leading to an increase in sales opportunities. Not only did Surefront centralize existing product information and streamline new product development cycles, it also accelerated sales and revenue growth for Handy Living.

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