Welfull Group Co, Ltd, one of China's leading import and export trading companies for textile and apparel products, has implemented a new Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution to increase efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Founded in 1993, and with 15 years of experience in the apparel industry, Welfull has an annual export-import volume close to US$400m. Recognised by eight ministries in China, including the Ministry of Commerce, as a national pilot company for supply chain innovation, it focuses on integrated development in modern commerce, venture capital investment, and platform services.

The firm has encountered many market challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, with CIO Xu Zhenhao listing five pain points common to international textile and apparel trade enterprises: growing labor costs, a relatively low level of information sharing, thin profit margins, a lack of standardisation and the small scale of upstream suppliers.

Welfull has created a blueprint for digital transformation to address these issues. Centric PLM is at the core of its strategy, as it will close the loop of data flows to facilitate resource sharing and more efficient coordination throughout the supply chain.

"Centric and Welfull are closely aligned in their global vision," says Xu. "Whether we move toward an OEM or ODM business model, Centric PLM can flexibly and effectively accommodate our needs and greatly shorten implementation time."

Centric PLM was implemented at Welfull in just nine weeks, and will digitalise the entire business process, from inquiry to sample making to delivery. The investment is expected to reduce communication costs and improve the efficiency of reordering and style selection.