By Industrial Print Magazine Staff
Part 3 of 3
Change can be daunting.This is especially true when it relates to tasks and processes that drive a company. Many times change is a necessity as these processes are often manual and taking up too much time that could be spent elsewhere.
Digitizing or automating manual tasks can streamline manufacturing on many levels and in multiple different departments—from design to sales and marketing.
Filson is a leading outfitter and manufacturer of goods for outdoor enthusiasts from hunters, anglers, engineers, and explorers to miners and anyone who has a passion for the outdoors. The company was established 1897 by C.C. Filson, who opened C.C. Filson’s Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers, specializing in goods to outfit the stampeders to the Klondike Gold Rush.
C.C. Filson owned a mill and manufactured Mackinaw Wool clothing and blankets, knit goods, as well as selling boots, shoes, moccasins, and sleeping bags. After the Gold Rush peaked, Filson continued offering outdoor gear, for example clothing for the timber industry—the Filson Cruiser, which earned C.C. Filson a U.S. Patent in 1914.
Today, Filson is headquartered in Seattle, WA. It continues to strive to create clothing products that are durable, but also provide protection and comfort—just like C.C. Filson would have wanted. However, times have changed and those characteristics are all necessary but at a certain level of affordability, quality, and timeliness.
One way the current manufacturer maintains this is by utilizing automation software from Gerber Technology, a Lectra Company. Specifically, the company works with Gerber’s cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) system, YuniquePLM. The digital product promotes team collaboration—whether in the office or working remotely.
When determining which PLM system to use four years ago, June Evans, director of technical design, Filson, recalls that the head of IT told her YuniquePLM was the “Cadillac of PLM systems.”
Filson leveraged one-on-one sessions with the Gerber Consulting team to fully implement YuniquePLM in just a few weeks. “We ultimately chose YuniquePLM because of how easy it is to use and the integration with AccuMark—Gerber’s CAD pattern design software. YuniquePLM is an incredible asset,” says Evans. Notably, when COVID-19 hit, the system was instrumental in helping while staff adjusted to working remotely.
Prior to PLM, Filson was using Microsoft Excel for tech packs and other manual processes. All of the company’s information was stored on a local server, which made collaboration difficult because data had to be updated in multiple places.
Thanks to Gerber YuniquePLM, Filson streamlined is design and development process in addition to improving collaboration, minimizing error, and allowing staff to easily work from home.
Many departments are now trained on the solution including product development, sales, marketing, customer service, and engineering. Filson onboards new users into the system in as little as a half an hour.
Automated software solutions—and even hardware—are important for manufacturers from all backgrounds to consider. They can help out in times of crisis, like COVID-19, but more importantly are influential as a whole, minimizing if not eliminating manual processes and creating efficient workflows throughout the supply chain.
Read part two of this series, New Facility, New Functions
Sep2021, Industrial Print Magazine