Typical Client Results
Outdoor Retailer Embraces a "Materials Mindset"
This global, outdoor retailer was using product creation processes that were identified as inefficient. Specifically, design teams are allowed to work without constraints on development. This results in a domino effect across teams where deadlines are pushed out, unnecessary development of product and low levels of material adoption.
Retail Strategy Group was brought in to begin tearing down existing methods of working and lay a foundation for a new path forward.
Results and Outcomes:
We helped install a “Materials Mindset” within the product creation team. The materials team is now viewed as a true partner; they are included in major milestone moments and are able to stay in step with development needs.
Further, material direction, design and development work was moved up in the calendar and is now initiated six months prior to the formal start of product strategy. From this, design develops into the materials that are available as opposed to materials chasing design.
With these changes in place, Outdoor Retailer is prepared to install a multi-track calendar which now unlocks the ability for the brand to focus on innovation.
These outcomes have been captured just in time for the development of the Spring ‘24 product line. The team firmly believes that they are stronger with this newly acquired clarity and organization.
Global Brand Reduces Overdevelopments
A global, athletic apparel and footwear brand adopted a brand new, go to market calendar. Unintentionally, this change created a disconnect between categories and materials teams at key alignment moments.
Guardrails and accountabilities were absent to manage development requests and monitor adoption rates. As a result, teams were engaged in over-development and this slowed down the overall speed to market of the brand.
Compounding the issues, existing tools and already approved/developed materials were not being utilized.
Process innovation was required here to remove inefficiencies and re-accelerate speed to market.
Results and Outcomes:
A “Material Development Agreement” was established between categories and materials teams. This installed monitoring of development requests, adoption/drops and measurements for YoY progress.
Further, a “Suite Of Tools” was activated. This contains valuable components including:
- Robust lists of existing materials, including their identity, location, historical information and more.
- “Materials Shopping List” – allowing categories to see developments in-flight, avoiding duplication.
- Principal and Category Palettes – This is for designers and category leaders to have access to, increasing their number of choices in color, print, pattern and trim available to them for consideration.
Overall development time was reduced by 16 weeks. Adoption rates, originally ranging from 30 to 60%, rose to 70% across all categories except for one.