Enabling Digital Growth for world-leading diamond retailer Signet Jewelers
From initially helping Signet Jewelers with web development work, PMC has proven to be such a valuable software engineering partner to the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewellery that the technology services provider now also contributes retail expertise to strategic projects for the Signet group.
The relationship began when PMC was called in at the start of Covid-19 to help work on specific workstreams involving the front and back-end of the websites of the company’s two key brands, H.Samuel and Ernest Jones. At this time, PMC took on most of the web development work.
Drew Heppenstall, Connected Commerce Delivery Manager at Signet Jewelers, explained: “It was at the start of Covid-19, and everybody was working remotely, but in less than a month PMC had a team of six up and running. They really worked as a team to the level that you’d have thought they were all sat in the same office. Unlike other providers, PMC’s depth of retail expertise and delivery and collaborative culture brought us instant benefits of quality and speed of delivery.
Providing expertise across a myriad of Retail projects
During this extremely stressful period of Covid lockdown when all the retailer’s sales moved online, Drew says great credit must be given to PMC for helping Signet operate optimally across its digital channels at a most crucial time.
Among the projects undertaken by PMC has been work on various key features on the Signet websites. These included the implementation of a search and merchandising tool that was completed in a record time. According to Drew, the average time to implement such a solution across two branded websites would have been eight months to a year but PMC successfully managed to deliver it in only five months.
Another key feature involved the implementation of warranties online. Although they have always been available within the company’s physical stores, they had never been available online. Now, through the work with PMC, warranties are available across all channels.
Recent PMC work, relating to the Signet digital transformation project, has delivered a PPD (pick, pack and despatch) solution. “PMC has been solely responsible for requirement gathering, development, building and testing as well as co-managing this project,” says Drew.
The successful partnership between PMC and Signet has enabled the rapid acceleration in web releases. As recently as two years ago, the company was typically undertaking only four web releases per year, whereas they now take place on a monthly basis. During 2022, there have been as many as six releases in a period of only eight weeks.
Drew suggests “none of this would be possible without the PMC teams in India
and the UK” referring to the blend of skilled personnel PMC deploys from both the UK and India offices, giving access to the necessary expertise.
“I’ve never met an offshore team that is as on-shore as this. It’s unique. PMC knocks the socks off anybody else, regardless of who they are,” he says.
Building a strong, transparent partnership
The structure of the partnership with PMC has also benefitted Signet. Unlike with many other companies, “We know exactly what we’ve got and what we are paying for. Previously with other companies there was a rate for front-end developers and a different rate for the backend. It can become a quagmire! However, with PMC we can plan a whole year in advance,” he says.
This transparent arrangement is reflected in the overall relationship between the two companies. “We try to be transparent, and this applies in both directions. It has built up trust and has a positive impact on how we deal with any issues or problems.
There is frequent and open communication between the two companies. There are no communication barriers or fears when addressing something. PMC is a supplier, but their teams can admit when there are issues and this helps to strengthen our relationship,” explains Drew, “PMC are much more than a service provider for testing and web development.”
PMC is a technology service partner with a vision to deliver better technology outcomes for retailers and B2C businesses. With a passion for helping retailers deliver engaging customer experiences, they provide technology services, solutions, and consulting in the retail transformation space.