PTC Talks to L.L. Bean: An Interview with Lindsay Clunie

Written by: Blake Simms

Read Time: 3 min

PTC recently sat down with Lindsay Clunie, Process Manager at L.L Bean. Here, Lindsay talks about using PTC FlexPLM to build great products and explains the benefits of being an active participant in the FlexPLM User Technical Committee.

Thanks for carving out time to meet with us today, Lindsay. Before we explore the benefits of using FlexPLM for your product design and development, please can you start by explaining what your business challenges were prior to partnering with PTC?

We had used a couple of PLM systems in the past and didn’t see those PLM vendors making an investment in their solutions to power us forward with improvements to the user experience, speed, or ease. We also had users across multiple product categories at L.L. Bean who weren’t familiar with a PLM system. We had to transition them away from Excel, email, and offline documents, and into a centralized system, where we could take advantage of real-time visibility and collaboration across multiple product categories.

Since implementing the PTC FlexPLM solution, can you share the results with us and discuss the business value have you been able to realize?

All of our product categories are in FlexPLM, with 100% of our products managed in the system. This is huge for us; FlexPLM is our source of record for product specification information. Downstream partners rely on this information to populate other business systems, including those that house customer-facing data. We’ve been able to cut down on the manual work of these downstream users trying to track down information from the development teams. This results in more readily available, and complete, product information.

In the apparel and outerwear categories, our users have taken advantage of the linking image capabilities, which has resulted in HUGE time savings, as we reuse many of the same clean sketch images across products (reg vs. tall; stripes vs. solids; etc.). If updates need to be made, it’s great to not have to touch multiple images to make the same update, but rather do it in one place.

You mentioned that you had worked with other PLM vendors and those vendors didn’t deliver the results you had expected. Can I ask what you liked about PTC?

The folks who I work with at PTC are industry experts. They have sat in my chair as a product developer, designer, or technical designer. They have actually built the tool; they know how to manage accounts and connect me with the people I need to work with. They are credible!

Shifting focus slightly, I’d like to explore your experiences with the FlexPLM User Technical Committee (TC). Can you explain how long L.L. Bean has been involved in the TC and what are the business drivers to be part of it?

We attended our first TC in January 2016 for just a day. As a business analyst on the FlexPLM project, I feared the content would be too ‘Technical’ for me as the name suggests. However, it was a perfect forum! Some attendees were more technical than me, others were less so. After returning from that day, we worked with our PTC account manager to ensure we were on the list for the next TC (in its entirety!).

Could you shed some light on the key takeaways from the TC meetings and calls with the wider FlexPLM community?

Prior to joining the FlexPLM team at L.L.Bean, I was a product developer. I was used to attending industry shows where the mentality was to be close-lipped and not let anyone try to steal your innovative ideas. When I was introduced to the TC, a group comprised of many of the same companies I had previously seen at industry shows, it was a completely different experience. The community is so collaborative and willing to share with one another. We’re all experiencing similar challenges in our businesses. There’s an attitude to level the playing field from the standpoint of the FlexPLM tool and allow our business users to focus on what they should be doing: building great products!

So, would you recommend the TC to your industry peers?

Absolutely! It’s so helpful to have a network of collaborative business and IT folks to draw from for their experiences, triumphs, and cautionary tales. My users at L.L. Bean have begun to ask me “how are other companies doing it?” It’s a great way to exchange ideas, as well as contribute to the direction of the FlexPLM roadmap.

Finally, what would you say are the next steps on your journey with PTC?

I’m very excited about the UX improvements and to deliver these to my users. I appreciate how much our voices are heard and valued to help shape the future of FlexPLM.

Join the PTC/USER Retail Technical Committee to work closely with PTC Product Management and collaborate with other customers to direct future software development! By participating in PTC user and working groups, you can represent the voice of the customer to drive future functionality and solutions for your industry. Click here to access the online registration form. For more details, please contact your local PTC Account Manager.

Tags: CAD Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

About the Author

Blake Simms

Blake is a high-performing, results, and data-driven, strategic marketing leader with extensive international experience in B2B technology marketing, specifically enterprise SaaS, Cloud, and subscription solutions in Retail, Footwear, Apparel, GM & CPG sectors.

With a bachelor’s degree in marketing management, strategy and communications, Blake has worked for a variety of leading global organizations and supported them by developing and delivering their Go-to-Market strategy, with measurable outcomes in new ACV bookings and ARR growth.

As a Marketing Director, Blake has a proven track record of nurturing teams and building highly successful, best-in-class, innovative marketing programs from the ground up, driving real results against KPIs in the areas of lead generation and pipeline creation, brand awareness, product launches, customer engagement and retention, product marketing, communications, sales-enablement, and account-based marketing.