China-based apparel manufacturer SC Fashion has invested in a PLM system to better communicate with brand partners and more efficiently manage product development.

The company selected Centric Software to provide its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), SC Fashion notes the sector faces many challenges including rising land and labour costs and an escalating trade conflict with the US. On top of this, many of its customers are focusing on branding, expecting manufacturers to take on more responsibility for product design and development.

"Many brand customers are starting to downsize their product development teams," explains David Wong, co-founder of SC Fashion. "This in turn requires us to have the ability to meet their demands for product development. I don't believe a pure OEM company will survive in the future. Product-oriented thinking as well as design and development capabilities are critical for future success."

Founded in 1992, Jiaxing Senchuang Fashion Co Ltd (SC Fashion) has a presence in a dozen countries and regions, delivering OEM and Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) services to high-end retailers and women's clothing brands in the West. Covering a factory area of 80,000 square metres, the company employs a workforce of more than 1,500 and generates over CNY800m (US$116.2m) in annual revenue from its knitted and woven products.

Using Centric PLM as a platform to communicate with brand partners and efficiently manage product development, SC Fashion has optimised its ability to deliver additional services to customers. The initial aims of the PLM project were to build a master product data platform, which could be a complicated process due to the absence of established standards and shorten the cycle for sample production by 25%. Since completing the implementation, both of these aims have been achieved.

"More and more leading clothing manufacturers have implemented Centric PLM," says Wong. "Unlike other providers whose solutions are mostly based on an order-oriented way of thinking, Centric has a truly product-oriented way of thinking, which is crucial to optimising our services. Moreover, the Centric team is professional, and we enjoy working with them."