Sunwin Increases Competitiveness Through Centric PLM™ Partnership

Home textile company Sunwin harness Centric PLM to provide a data knowledge base and boost efficiency for teams.

“We only choose to cooperate with the most innovative companies, and Centric Software is completely in sync with us on this point. As the world’s most prestigious digital transformation platform provider, Centric Software has rich experience in both the fashion and retail industries.” — Mr Wang Yaomin, Chairman at Sunwin

Challenges

  • Data standards and coding systems were not uniform
  • Difficulties with inter-departmental communication
  • Development progress not tracked
  • Replication of even basic data was challenging
  • Lacked a system to make R&D value decisions

Results

  • Standardized product information & knowledge base
  • Unified communication and data access
  • Improved creativity and efficiency for R&D teams
  • Better collaboration internally & externally

Finding Potential

“A designer needs not just creativity, but also the ability to predict and create value, and these skills are based on in-depth insights into the market as well as the mining and analysis of product data,” says Mr. Wang Yaomin, Chairman of Sunwin. “Through the use of digital PLM solutions, I hope to provide our design and research teams with better value creation tools so that our teams can take full advantage of their potential.”

In September 2019, Sunwin consulted with Centric Software regarding Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions and Centric’s experience at the cutting edge of the global fashion industry, particularly in terms of commodity R&D and digital transformation. Following this consultation, Sunwin chose to commence a partnership with Centric Software.

Sunwin has compared their PLM project to a “dictionary project”, providing the product development team with a reference guide that covers all dimensions and attributes of their business and is updated in real time. It is effectively a knowledge base.

With the successful implementation of Centric PLM, Sunwin has completed this “dictionary project”, covering everything from yarns to patterns to products, upgraded its management technologies and greatly enhanced the core competitiveness of Sunwin products.”

The King of Throws and Blankets

Shanghai Sunwin Industry Group Co., Ltd. was founded in 2002, and provides integrated services including the original design, marketing planning and supply chain management of unique home apparel for middle- and high-end retailers around the world. It has been one of the top 100 textile exporters in China for decades and is known as the “King of Throws and Blankets”. The company now owns three wholly owned & operated factories, along with one joint venture factory, and also supports 200+ partnering factories.

Sunwin has established a global marketing network with customers in 28 countries and regions, including the United States, Europe, South America, Australia, Japan and South Korea, supporting more than 190 middle- and high-end retailers and brand customers worldwide. Sunwin is a core supplier of numerous high-end retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Dillard’s, Target and H&M.

A Transformative Philosophy of Going Against the Grain

As China’s manufacturing industry continues to evolve and becomes more sophisticated, PLM technology has received more and more attention among the country’s textile manufacturers. As a leader in textile manufacturing, Sunwin also stands at the forefront of the industry’s digital strategic planning. In September 2019, Sunwin began selecting a PLM solution.

When discussing why they chose Centric PLM, Wang says, “We only choose to cooperate with the most innovative companies, and Centric Software is completely in sync with us on this point. As the world’s most prestigious digital transformation platform provider, Centric Software has rich experience in both the fashion and retail industries.”

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020, some enterprises have suspended or changed their prior plans for digital upgrades, but Sunwin has taken the opposite course, immediately commencing its PLM project. Wang says, “Companies with long-term strategic plans will not stop moving forward just because they’re experiencing short-term difficulties. The reason plans are made is so that we can cope with changes more effectively. This current crisis is just an opportunity for us to turn another corner and overtake our competitors.”

Digital Management of Integrated Value Chains

Sunwin ultimately defined their core objectives in four dimensions: collaboration, knowledge, decision-making and efficiency. Sunwin has always upheld the principle of integrated value chain management, based on the company’s responsibilities to its customers, suppliers and consumers.

The objective of this PLM project is not only consistent with Sunwin’s concept of the integrated value chain, but is also able to provide data support for our business department and design R&D department in terms of understanding future strategies, maintaining awareness of time investments and improving innovation awareness.

This disruptive approach promotes Sunwin’s continuous innovation as well as the company’s global development strategy.” Miss Cheng, Principal of Sunwin’s IT Department, explains.

Development of the “Dictionary Project”

Carefully tended, every sown seed bears fruit when the time is right. Sunwin’s PLM project commenced in March 2020 and was launched company-wide on September 1, 2020.Through in-depth integration with Centric PLM across all departments, Sunwin has steadily and efficiently built an autonomous “dictionary” or knowledge base serving as a repository of all the company’s unique intellectual property, assets and culture. This includes:

• Standardized definitions for fabrics, yarns, patterns, colors and product styles: Every employee can clearly and directly understand all information for all products, including the attributes and values of each and every product dimension.

• Fully integrated data: The project establishes a standardized communication language across the company’s R&D, marketing and production departments to ensure accurate transmission of all information.

• Supports selection of value creation and improves R&D efficiency: The system builds a comprehensive information database to support designers through the processes of collecting R&D inspiration, product planning and fabric processing.

Advanced Technologies Supporting Business Management

As Sunwin’s business model undergoes more upgrades in terms of digitalization, branding and planning, the PLM project is an important tool to help Sunwin achieve its digital management and branding goals.

As Wang concludes, “China’s textile manufacturing enterprises are transforming from an age of manufacturing and channels to an age of branding and segmentation. The competitiveness of a company’s core product categories will be the key to its future success. Therefore, Sunwin needs to develop lean products and strive to become the first choice of its customers and consumers.”

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