BOSTON, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Mendix, a Siemens business and global leader in low-code application development for the enterprise, today announced that Dutch motorcycle clothing and equipment brand, REV'IT!, has used the Mendix platform to custom-build a product data management (PDM) system that streamlines the company's design workflow and development process. REV'IT! worked with Mendix solution provider, Solvos, to develop a digitalized system that meets the strict requirements demanded by this manufacturing process, shaving costs, shortening time-to-market, and giving back designers 20% of their time to concentrate on innovation.
Successful product development for this luxury market requires numerous design iterations to ensure real-world performance and proper fit for the wearer while tracking pricing and engineered materials from third-party suppliers around the world. Furthermore, in the European Union, tailored motorcycle outerwear and equipment is subject to safety regulations and certification. As a result, clothing designers for motorcycle enthusiasts must race towards two parallel goals: Garments and materials need to meet exacting safety standards for protection in an accident, while also delivering an aesthetic look for the market's fashion-conscious consumers. Product data management solutions exist for fashion or technical design, but none of the off-the-shelf PDM solutions provide the capabilities necessary to aid collaborative teams of designers, engineers, and product managers who must track complex requirements for both form and function. And so REV'IT! decided to pursue its own solution.
Using low-code to hit the accelerator
REV'IT! previously managed its pricing and supply model with siloed, home-built Excel files. In addition, incorporating designer comments on image-based product samples or new designs created on iPads or pen and paper is a central part of REV'IT!'s workflow. But the process of capturing design changes and new specifications was prone to error, slowing the iterative manufacturing process. This created unnecessary confusion throughout the feedback process, prolonged the release of new products, and frustrated designers.
To overcome these issues, REV'IT! took the decision to build its own system. It needed to be fast and easy to build, provide simple access to all the necessary features, and give designers more time to focus on creating equipment. The Mendix low-code platform provided a tailor-made fit for REV'IT!'s unique challenges.
Randy Vos, IT Director at REV'IT!, says: "We needed a solution that was user-friendly and accessible by a variety of parties. The Mendix platform offers so much flexibility. It really simplifies this whole process for us."
Vos continues: "Our previous method for product design and development was far too disparate, with designers all taking different approaches to provide feedback on the samples they receive. This created unnecessary confusion throughout the feedback process, prolonged the release of new products, and frustrated designers. By leveraging low-code and implementing the agile development process for this massive undertaking, we were able to deliver a solution that enables a more efficient process, and that the team enjoys using."
Speeding time-to-market for new product launches
REV'IT!'s bespoke PDM solution was built from the ground up in just six months using Mendix's low-code platform. Low-code is a visual development approach to application development that enables developers of varied experience levels to create applications for web and mobile, using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphical user interface.
The new PDM system targets a critical step in the REV'IT! workflow: The new app enables designers to log and share iterative feedback on visual samples from the supplier. The app interface reduces data entry errors and automatically generates revised vendor specifications. This crucial step has a direct impact on time-to-market, greatly shortening the timespan between final design and product launch.
REV'IT! estimates that as much as 20% of its designers' time is given back to them as a direct result of the Mendix-built PDM solution. Designers have more time to focus on developing innovative products, and not worrying about which Excel file is up-to-date. According to Vos, integrating workflow data on the Mendix application "has transformed one of the most annoying tasks in the product development process to one of the easiest."
Nick Ford, chief technology evangelist at Mendix, says: "REV'IT! is really at the forefront of innovation for manufacturing and design. They are using technology to simplify a lot of internal processes. We are proud to have worked with the company to help deliver its first application on low-code, and it is great to see it having such a positive impact on their product development."
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