Bestseller Fashion Group China (BFGC) was established in 1996 and is a member of the Bestseller Group, based in Denmark. Bestseller is a clothing and accessories company owned by the Holch Povlsen family in Denmark and two Danish business partners, Dan Friis and Allan Warburg, in China.
Based in Beijing, BFGC markets clothing and accessories online and in more than 8,000 stores in China under five Bestseller brands (ONLY, Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Selected and Name IT) as well as the independent J. Lindeberg brand. Although there is cooperation between Bestseller in Europe and Bestseller in China, most designs for the Chinese market are created and manufactured in China.
Merete Bech Povlsen and Troels Holch Povlsen founded Bestseller in Denmark in 1975. The family-owned clothing and accessories company makes fast, affordable fashion for women, men, teens and children and is headquartered in Brande, Denmark.
In a competitive apparel market, BFGC faces pressure to get on-trend pieces to market rapidly at affordable prices.
As Dan Friis, CEO at BFGC explains, “The consumer market in China is very dynamic, especially in digital commerce. The consumer expects the latest trends at very affordable prices. This puts great pressure on our supply chain in terms of being more flexible and responsive, and to cut both costs and lead times.”
There was a major push within Bestseller China to select a PLM partner, with strong corporate support. After a selection process, BFGC chose Centric Software’s flagship PLM solution, Centric PLM.
“The part we like best about Centric is its configurability. This creates huge value for us by cutting development costs and reducing time to market,” explains Liu Ming, Executive Assistant to CEO, Project Owner at BFGC. “We also like the fact that it is a cloud-based solution. This means that the platform is accessible anytime, anywhere from around the globe without CHALLENGES degradation in performance.”
BFGC kicked off their PLM implementation project in October 2014 with their first brand and went live in under six months in March 2015 with all other brands going live the following year. As Liu Ming notes, this was achieved with the dedication of the Centric team as well as support at all levels in BFGC.
“The PLM implementation was a corporate priority. It received management support from the very top. The project pretty much covered everyone, including designers, buyers, logistics, quality control and all of our suppliers. The onboarding and change management process was not easy, but with the help of the great team from Centric, we were able to make it.”
The aim of the project was to build a foundation for future growth that would be fully integrated with other data systems as part of the digital transformation of BFGC, says Friis.
“At Bestseller China, we view digital transformation as a vital enabler of our continued business growth. We worked with Centric to build a collaborative platform for our internal teams and suppliers to have a smooth exchange of data and ideas. On top of Centric PLM, we have built our own systems to capture data and track our physical goods flow throughout the supply chain.”
Since implementing Centric PLM, BFGC has experienced improved data consistency and communication, resulting in faster time to market and better control over the supply chain.
“Communication across teams has become a lot smoother. People can rely on the information they get and really focus their energy on being efficient and creative,” Liu Ming explains.
Leo Jie, Buying Manager for ONLY at BFGC, notes that preparation before the project began and integration with existing processes were key aspects of the success of the PLM implementation. “The good thing about working with Centric was that before we launched the system, we had several meetings to discuss processes and our needs.
So when we went live, the process went quite smoothly without major hiccups. The communication flow is very clear because email traffic is reduced and PLM provides a defined work structure.
Everybody knows what to fill in at what stage.” “It was fairly easy to adapt PLM into our daily work, because we had been mainly using Excel, email and Adobe Illustrator,” he continues. “It was easy to integrate these three tools into one system in PLM.
Centric PLM has a very accessible visual setup for designers, which is important for us.”
Implementing Centric PLM has had a strong impact on Bestseller China’s strategy for online retailing directly to consumers, says Dan Friis. “For the realization of our digital commerce and retail strategy, the system also represents an important backbone which makes it possible for us to bring new business scenarios to market and accommodate a more seamless experience between online and offline for our consumers.”
In 2018, Centric Software rolled out its groundbreaking Skyline architecture for Centric 8 PLM, which allows customers with up to 10,000 users to geographically distribute data in real time across the globe. As Bestseller China grows, with an ever-increasing amount of data and complex global web of communication, Skyline is an invaluable asset to the PLM project.
“The Skyline project is the performance boost we’ve been longing for,” says Liu Ming. “As we grow from season to season, we have tons of data to manage. We need the system to be extremely fast. We also need the data in Centric to be accessible for analytical purposes. This is what the Skyline project will provide us with.”
“Centric’s biggest strength is their people,” he concludes. “They are deeply rooted in the industry and they have rich experience in what they do. Working with the Centric team continues to be a real pleasure.”