Gymshark selects Visionng PLM to support growth with agile, efficient product development

Posted: 21st February 2019

Man modelling grey Gymshark hoody in gym

The UK’s fastest growing fitness brand looks to the future with best practice processes and tools to increase visibility, coordination and control.

Gymshark is a fitness apparel and accessories brand, manufacturer and online retailer based in the United Kingdom, supported by over 4.5 million highly engaged social media followers and customers in 150 countries.

Created in 2012 by Ben Francis and a group of university friends, Gymshark was borne out of a frustration that outfits didn’t reflect the demands, trends or personalities of people like them who actually used gyms – so they decided to make the clothes themselves, starting with a screen printing operation in Ben’s parents’ garage! In just a few years, Gymshark has gone on to become one of the fastest growing and most recognisable brands in fitness, notching up a number of high profile awards along the way.

Today Gymshark’s innovative products which ‘exist at the intersect of engineering and art’ and include workout vests, hoodies, T-shirts and leggings, all featuring the brand’s distinctive shark logo, are snapped up by fitness enthusiasts around the world. This growth comes from a devotion to producing innovative, effective performance wear and an ever-expanding social media presence fueled by well-known brand ambassadors, and supported with pop-up stores around the globe.

Gymshark work with manufacturers to develop their own technical fabrics, and new styles can go from design to market within three months, with some UK-made products on lead times of less than six weeks.

This innovation, agility and ability to react quickly to market trends is a key competitive advantage which Gymshark are committed to retaining as the business grows in size and complexity. With exponential growth and ambitions to become one of the global ‘go to brands’ for fitness apparel, Ben and the team recognised that the business had outgrown the largely manual systems and processes which had successfully got them to this point, but were increasingly time consuming, a drain on key resources, and unable to provide the level of visibility, coordination and control that was now required.

''I am absolutely fascinated by what we can achieve by combining a strong, robust business backend with great people, systems and processes that free up the creative team to focus on the tomorrow.''

Ben Francis, Chief Brand Officer at Gymshark

In order to provide firm foundations for continued growth in the key areas of product development and sourcing, the Gymshark team started the search for a PLM partner that could provide the tools and industry best practice expertise. Areas of particular focus included the end-to-end management of critical path from design to delivery, with clear coordinated priorities and early warning of potential problems, and practical tools to support closer collaboration with suppliers, supporting right first time and on time delivery from samples to finished product. Aside from streamlining processes, and increasing speed to market, perhaps the most exciting gains lie in the fact that improving staff efficiency will allow the team to focus on more proactive, creative, added value activity rather than manual tasks and firefighting.

Ben Francis, Chief Brand Officer at Gymshark commented, “I am absolutely fascinated by what we can achieve by combining a strong, robust business backend with great people, systems and processes that free up the creative team to focus on the tomorrow, allowing us to keep growing at the insane rate that we are and become one of the biggest brands in the world. A key part of this is ensuring that our product development process allows us to stay ahead of the market, working closely with our suppliers to get great product to market faster and more efficiently than ever before. The Gymshark team are confident that Fast React’s Vision PLM and their industry best practice expertise can help us achieve these goals.”

Fast React’s Vision PLM is a modular solution which can tailored to meet the specific and evolving needs of a businesses of all sizes, and is available on a Software as a Subscription (SaaS) basis, removing the need for additional IT hardware,  infrastructure and expertise, allowing the solution to be scaled as a business grows. Gymshark’s Vision PLM solution will include Range Planning, Ai integration, Product Manager, Costings, Material Management and BOM, Tech Packs, Sample Management, Purchase Order Management, Supplier Collaboration and much more.

Elliot Hurst, Business Development Manager at Fast React Systems said, “It’s great to be working with such an inspiring brand, who have such exciting plans for continued, accelerated growth! Through various meetings we were able to develop a good understanding of the key business requirements, and it was clear that Vision PLM is a great fit. We look forward to working with the Gymshark team and are confident that the strength of our ‘functional footprint’, from design inception to delivery, together with the industry experience and expertise of our implementation consultants, will ensure a successful project with industry best practices and tools at the core of the business, supporting continued growth and freeing up more creative time!”