Leather Working Group is a not-for-profit community organisation dedicated to driving excellence in sustainable leather production. Since 2005 the Leather Working Group has represented a diverse global membership, including over 1,800 businesses across the footwear, apparel and upholstery sectors and count Adidas, Burberry, Dr Martens, Barbour, and ASOS amongst their membership.
The Leather Working Group needed their data architecture completely overhauled, especially around normalisation and the connectivity between their data models. As the processes around member management was mainly manual this was leading to dirty data, inefficient use of time for the Leather Working Group team, and a bottleneck of knowledge.
Defining a clear strategy
We collaborated with multiple stakeholders in the Leather Working Group during a series of workshops to analyse, define and prioritise the various use cases of the existing system. During this process it became clear that one of the most important features would be to effectively manage the various life cycles of a Leather Working Group member. These use cases were then documented and used to define the strategy needed to architect their data ecosystem.
Our main goal from an data architectural point of view was to normalise the data and link the various components up in a way that enables the system to run itself via a suite of automated processes.
We designed the solution through multiple rounds of data modelling, using a mix of class and entity relationship diagrams, that were reviewed by the client and compared to the strategy to ensure that all use cases were being met.
Migrating historical data
Part of the task of architecting a new data structure was to ensure that the system not only enhanced future data collection but also improved the data that the company had already gathered.
The new data architecture ensured that the data was normalised so this combined with some clever import scripts ensured that the dataset was drastically reduced and tidied up.
During our initial workshops with the client it became clear that the main membership life cycles followed a similar pattern which enabled us to automate large parts of the system including member management tasks such as onboarding and expiry as well as a full suite of notification emails to both the system admins and website users.
Evolving the Leather Working Group brand
Leather Working Group had an existing logotype and suite of membership logo lockups, but there was a desire to revisit and refine these assets as part of the website redesign.
We evolved their main logo, giving more readability and scalability to the typeface, and tweaking the colour slightly. We completely overhauled their suite of membership logotypes, and produced a set of ‘seals’ for use on certificates generated from the website and other membership collateral.
We wrapped this all up in a simple set of identity guidelines, aiding the Leather Working Group to maintain coherence and consistency in all their brand collateral.
We delivered the Leather Working Group an updated brand and visual design, an enterprise-class content management system giving them much more control over their content, and have completely rearchitected their data models and internal processes. The end result of this process is a cultural shift within the Leather Working Group where they now see their data for what it is; the backbone of their business.
Confidence in their data and processes now exists and they have a clearer picture of the landscape of their digital setup which gives them the time and space they need to continue their mission to drive excellence in sustainable leather production.