- FashionUnited |
Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials—fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials—presented its strategic vision for the Chinese apparel manufacturing industry during CISMA 2015 (Shanghai, China). Lectra outlined the challenges and opportunities Chinese apparel manufacturers are facing in the context of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s 10-year strategic plan: ‘Made in China 2025’. This plan aims to help the Chinese economy develop its capacity for value-added manufacturing and smart industrial production.
Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO, and Andreas Kim, Managing Director of Lectra Greater China, shared their perspectives on what ‘Made in China 2025’ means for this rapidly evolving market and how technology-driven smart production can help Chinese companies speed up product development and add value to their design and manufacturing activities, so they can differentiate themselves from competitors in emerging markets by providing their customers with better service, more innovative style options and a superior-quality product.
“China’s apparel manufacturing industry has driven the country’s economy for the past three decades but the industry is now dealing with an economic slowdown, higher wages, bigger environmental awareness and more limited resources. Contenders in Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh can compete on cost, while advanced economies such as the US, Germany and Japan are pulling ahead in terms of technology. If Chinese brands want to stay competitive, they need to distinguish themselves by focusing on enhanced value and services, brand quality and creativity,” said Daniel Harari.
Lectra identified five key areas where Chinese apparel manufacturers could benefit from adopting best-in-class practices to meet ‘Made in China 2025’’s ambitious goals: innovation, differentiation, industrial excellence, collaboration and transformation. The company also presented ways in which technology and lean methodologies—key components of Lectra’s offer—can help with reaching these objectives. Daniel Harari particularly highlighted how seamless data sharing from design to production facilitates interactive, real-time collaboration, and how using Lectra smart technology with machine-embedded intelligence across the production chain can optimize efficiency, reduce waste and improve overall product quality. He also emphasized the crucial role of effective change management in ensuring a successful transition to smart production.
“There are still variations in quality standards and efficiency among Chinese manufacturers, but the ‘Made in China 2025’ plan has put strong guidelines in place to solve these issues. China is ready to move on from its role as ‘the world’s factory’ and become an innovative global leader in apparel manufacturing. By investing in innovation and smart technology, Chinese apparel manufacturers can shift their focus to operational efficiency and product quality, reinventing their offer and ultimately turning ‘Made in China’ into a real mark of excellence,” concluded Andreas Kim.