Chinese sporting goods giant Anta Sports Products has invested in a PLM system to further its "single-focus, multi-brand, omni-channel" business strategy with a unified information platform.

The company will use Centric Software's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution as part of its plans to develop its position in the Chinese and international markets over the next ten years.

Anta claims to be the largest sports equipment and apparel company in China and the third largest in the world. Its main focus is the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of its own Anta brand sports shoes, clothing and accessories for a range of sports including running, football, basketball, cross training and tennis. In 2017, Anta's market value exceeded HK$100bn (U$12.75bn).

"The Anta brand is striding out into the world and can be a truly international brand that attracts customers from all over the globe," says Zheng Jie, executive director and president of Anta Group. "The way we manage products is very important because they are the most direct and close connection between brands and consumers. To meet the needs of consumers, we need to have complete control over our products including planning, design, development, manufacturing and quality control. This requires the support of a professional and powerful PLM platform."

According to Chen Donghai, senior director of the Process and Information Management Center at Anta, the previous lack of a unified standard information platform to manage collaboration between product and supply chain teams resulted in inefficient internal and external coordination and restricted the development of Anta's business. Selecting a suitable PLM solution was a high-priority project.

"Choosing a suitable PLM system is one of the largest investments Anta will make in its information management project," he explains. 

The vision of the PLM project is to create a platform for standardised operations across the full supply chain of goods, digitise product information and achieve effective data integration, structure, reuse and analysis, he adds.