Brazilian sustainable fashion retailer Malwee Group has invested in a new Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution to help boost product design and manufacturing across its six brands.

The company has selected Centric Software and its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution for its brands Malwee, Malwee Kids, Malwee Liberta, Enfim, Carinhoso and Zig Zig Zaa.

Founded in 1968, Malwee Group employs nearly 4,500 people who manage more than 25,000 multi-brand points of sale and 82 speciality brand stores throughout Brazil. The company has three manufacturing units and produces more than 35m pieces of clothing each year.

Faced with the challenges of a quickly shifting fashion market, it realised a critical need to scale operations, moving beyond inefficient processes with fragmented and disconnected systems.

"A lot is said about digital transformation of manufacturing operations, like 3D modelling and computerised systems, but if the various systems are not integrated to allow data to flow in conjunction with business processes, and in line with business priorities, the organisation as a whole will still be fragmented," explains José Isaías Cunha, manager of engineering and industrial intelligence at Malwee Group.

"By building bridges between these siloed systems, we're able to eliminate a significant amount of rework, save time and resources, deflate costs, and mitigate errors in the process. We need a tool with a powerful enough scope to serve as the backbone of our digital architecture, where we can connect all the other systems.

"Today we are mature enough to realise that just having digital systems in place doesn't make the company digital," he adds. "It is necessary to have the mindset and a tool to accelerate transformation. With our product teams located in several cities across the country, including São Paulo City and Jaraguá do Sul, it was becoming a big challenge to establish a working connection between remote teams. We see a great opportunity to have one integrated workflow where information is unique, correct and shared between teams."

The company is now at a critical point in the digital transformation process and much closer to achieving its goal of bringing product creation closer to the consumer. Malwee Group aims to optimise all stages of product ideation and development with consumer input and validation.

"We will leverage Centric PLM throughout the entire value chain, because the more we maximise the product lifecycle, the more adapted the product will be to consumers' wishes and needs, which makes for a happier customer. We want to invert the relationship between products and consumers today, not just bring products to market and see if they work. Instead, we want to create products with consumers in mind, showing we offer what he or she really wants or needs," says Cunha.