Toniebox-maker Taps PTC for Retail PLM Solution

Boxine GmbH, creators of the award-winning Toniebox audio system for children, has teamed up with PTC to implement PTC FlexPLM, which will “support rapid international growth, product expansion and a migration away from disconnected legacy systems,” the company said.

Based in Düsseldorf, Germany, Boxine was founded by two fathers, with the principle of creating a new audio system for children. “From this collaboration, the Toniebox was born: an approachable, wireless, portable audio player with internal storage for up to 400 hours of audio, and the ability to import audio stories, music and other content from NFC-enabled Tonie audio characters,” the company said adding that since its initial launch in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2016, “the Toniebox and Tonies have become the drivers of an audio experience ecosystem for children, and Boxine has forged partnerships with publishers of internationally recognized children’s books like The Gruffalo, as well as licensed stories and characters from The Walt Disney Co.”

Based on this success, the concept led to “rapid expansion that quickly exceeded the ability of Boxine’s ad-hoc technology ecosystem to support the company’s ambitions.” After extending to English-speaking audiences in the U.K. and Ireland in 2018, Boxine celebrated milestones of more than 1 million Tonieboxes and 10 million Tonies sold in 2019. In 2020, Boxine began an expansion into North America.

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The company sells through a network of retail partners, as well as through its own direct-to-consumer website. “The sharp increase in demand for its products across these channels, coupled with an increase in the sku count, and the expansion of its manufacturer base, quickly became a challenge,” the company said noting that it began to evaluate the global retail PLM market.

Axel Blattner, Boxine’s global head of product development, said the company was working from “disparate, disconnected spreadsheets, with no access to a single source of truth, and every day our technology platforms were working against our vision for growth.”

“We needed to quickly identify the right retail PLM platform: one that could cope with the increase in volume and new products and product categories we wanted to introduce, and one that made it as smooth as possible to onboard new suppliers,” Blattner explained. “With its easy to use and highly visual user interface, depth of functionality, comprehensive critical path, intuitive vendor portal and extended AI capabilities, FlexPLM V12 very rapidly emerged as the best possible choice.”

As part of its implementation of FlexPLM, Boxine said it will deploy the platform to both in-house users and supplier partners, which is another area where PTC outmatches even its closest competition in retail PLM.

Bill Brewster, senior vice president and general manager of PTC’s Retail Business Unit, said as well as “being retail’s most widely used and secure Retail PLM platform among designers, technical developers and sourcing teams, FlexPLM also has a larger presence in the international supply chain than any other retail PLM vendor.”

“We are thrilled that a company with products as much loved as Boxine has selected FlexPLM to futureproof its supply chain through smart connectivity and visibility, which will be a great addition to the speed to market and efficiency improvements that they and other PTC customers in consumer products and consumer electronics are already realizing,” he said.

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