UR (Urban Revivo), founded in 2006, has experienced phenomenal growth and is now the number one fast fashion company in China. With a core concept of ‘fast luxury’, UR sells accessibly- priced contemporary clothing and accessories for men, women and children. It aims to bring affordable yet luxurious clothes to consumers worldwide.
UR has over 200 stores across China and overseas. The company has also established a base in Singapore and is set to open its first store outside of Asia in London in 2018, planning to have over 400 stores globally by 2020.
With rapid growth and ambitious plans for global expansion, UR decided to select a PLM solution to support their product development and merchandising infrastructure.
Li Ri Mei, Senior Buying Director at UR, explains that UR’s impressive expansion in just over ten years created significant business challenges.
“We didn’t have the right tools to manage information and communications between our design and planning teams,” she says. “We needed to find a better way for our teams to collaborate while ensuring data accuracy and transparency to get everyone on the same page.”
“In terms of merchandise management, we realized that a standardized process and planning calendar would greatly improve our efficiency. It’s important to us to keep our brand DNA consistent while responding quickly to market need in order to manage the color, material and style of designs.”
After researching several leading vendors in a long selection process, UR chose Centric Software’s PLM solution.
As Li says, “We have known Centric for a long time. Every time we met with the Centric team, we were impressed by their professionalism and knowledge of the fashion industry. They understood our pain points and offered a tailor-made solution for us. UR is the leading fast fashion brand in China, and is growing fast in both the domestic and global markets. We believed that Centric’s successful experience in the global market would truly help in our expansion.”
Urban Revivo began the project with several goals that they wished to achieve with PLM, says Li. As the top fast fashion brand in China, UR was confident that Centric could deliver a PLM solution that would support the company’s rapid growth in China and abroad.
“We wanted to build up a real digital platform for product development and merchandising as the cornerstone of our PLM system,” explains Li. “The next objective was to create standard product development processes. We also aimed to accumulate product knowledge and information to maintain our brand DNA and improve efficiency. Last but not least, we wanted to enhance cooperation between internal and external team members.”
“Using Centric PLM, we expected to establish an information base of basic research and development, leading to a rapid reduction in the amount of time the R&D team spends on data collection,” he continues. “We knew Centric PLM would help us to define and standardize all aspects of the R&D process, ultimately enhancing visualization and transparency.”
In September 2017, UR began implementing Centric PLM PLM. The implementation was completed in January 2018, finishing in just four months.
“The deployment was perfect!” exclaims Budwhite Zhang, CIO at UR.
“We’re already seeing results,” Mr. Zhang continues. “Centric PLM has helped to speed time to market, cut costs and errors, and improve innovation. Take sampling, for example; our designers and merchandising team used to take about ten days for one collection. Now, with Centric’s help, it takes three to four days.”
“We knew that a PLM system would assist us with planning collections and leveraging design and development work. Designers now have a good sense of cost as they can see the cost of material and labor in Centric PLM, which helps us better control budgets and merchandise planning.” As well as implementing core Centric PLM modules, UR chose to invest in Centric’s groundbreaking mobile apps for PLM.
As Mr. Zhang notes, these are very popular with the company’s designers. “With Centric’s mobile apps, our designers can capture and share inspiration immediately with the whole team,” Mr. Zhang says. “This is very helpful for fast fashion companies like UR, which rely on speed and instant communication.”
UR has expansive plans for the future, says Mr. Zhang, and Centric PLM has an important part to play in supporting product management and global collaboration. “UR has ambitious plans for the next few years, aiming to achieve 10 billion RMB in annual sales revenues by 2021. In this new retail era, we will follow our three strategies: make product the priority, revolutionize management and leverage technology. Product innovation is the key to success and Centric PLM will help UR improve product management for our women’s, men’s, kid’s and accessories divisions as well as our new fashion sports brand. We’re expanding business overseas and Centric links our London buyer center with our Chinese headquarters.”
As Li concludes, “We are looking forward to conducting a long-term cooperative business relationship with Centric Software, who are an excellent supplier. With the continuous development of Centric Software, we anticipate that Centric will help address new business challenges as UR continues to expand.”