Lectra PLM,support the fashion goods manufacturing

Mr. Philippe RIBERA, Software Marketing Director of Lectra Group, made his first visit to China, and agreed to an e-works interview to talk about the product development, marketing strategies and so on.

On March 30, 2010, the Prime Source Forum 2010, which has become a key event for leaders in the textiles and clothing industry from around the world to exchange ideas and business intelligence every year, has been held in Hong Kong. As one of the exhibitors, Lectra Group attended the Forum, and demonstrated their PLM solutions.

Mr. Philippe RIBERA, Software Marketing Director of Lectra Group, made his first visit to China, and agreed to an e-works interview to talk about the product development, marketing strategies and so on.

For the overview of Lectra, please visit: Lectra Introduction

Wang Yang: Please introduce the market background while Lectra Fashion PLM comes into China. What kind of idea and thought will you bring to Chinese market on your this visit in China?
Philippe RIBERA: Over the past years, the fashion goods manufacturing has been moved to Asia, especially China. Therefore, most of Chinese companies develop a tighter and tighter collaboration with western brands & retailers, this calling for efficient ways of communication/info exchanges around the product/collection. Therefore, subcontractors need to be equipped with the latest fashion PLM system to insure the closest and most efficient collaboration with the biggest name on the international market.
●Chinese companies are extending their scope from being garment manufacturers and subcontractors to establishing brands names on the local market and then, we think, they will move soon to the international scene.
●To strengthen Lectra position in Asia by complementing the manufacturing offer with added value software solutions; hence providing Chinese fashion firms with a global coverage of  fashion process: from idea right down to the cutting rooms.
Why now?
The recent economic crisis has impacted the global fashion market and related market players.
Today, we have seen multiple positive signals. On one hand, Chinese market has become mature (ie: scope from manufacturer to local brands to take the most advantage of Lectra PLM Solutions – design/pattern making/data preparation for cutting rooms and costing (marker making)). On the other hand, Lectra Fashion PLM (Chinese version) and related support & services have been entirely adapted to the local context.
Finally, Lectra expects that China will become, in 2010, one of the major countries in term of PLM install seats due to the fact that Chinese firms will need to use more and more collaborative tools both to develop their own brand names and work with foreign well-known fashion firms.

Wang Yang: How do you think the PLM application level of Chinese enterprises? Please describe the features of Lectra Fashion PLM.
Philippe RIBERA: Today, the PLM application in Chinese enterprise is a new and growing market.
Lectra Fashion PLM integrates our job-oriented applications to create, develop and produce fashion goods while enabling our customers to plan and manage the entire collection lifecycle (thanks to business process management solutions based on a collaborative platform).
Specifically, Lectra Fashion PLM is made of several modules covering different types of business processes such as collaborative line management and scheduling - initiated through Line Planning and calendars-, collection-related activities and deliverables monitoring (dashboards), product development support (specifications reports, strategic sourcing / supplier integration, costing), its flexible workflow and the latest sample order management module.
With such a solution our customers are able to:
●Drive the profitability of collections by monitoring deadlines and costs along the whole development process (dashboard overview, milestone tracking, collection visualization).
● Adapt, at will, their product development process to the business environment with flexible workflow, automatically-calculated schedules, e-mail alerts, individual “to do” lists, role based functions, and more.
●Anticipate bottlenecks in advance to avoid costly delays with a calendar interface for a complete overview of each collection’s progress.
●Optimize strategic supplier selection through supplier panel management and by crossing costing simulations with supplier prices.

Wangyang: Recently, Mr. Andreas A. Kim was nominated as the Managing Director of Greater China, could you talk about the strategic goal in China in 2010?
Philippe RIBERA: Today, Chinese manufacturers need to evolve, in order to face new major challenges. One of their first challenges is to respond to the demands of their contractors by improving their productivity, quality, and increasingly, their flexibility—all without losing competitiveness in order to resist pressure from countries in which labor costs/salaries are even lower. Another important challenge is to move beyond their sub-contractor status to become creators of brands for their enormous domestic market, and to cover the entire collections cycle.
To do so, Chinese companies need to use more and more sophisticated technologies to improve the quality of their products and remain competitive. Lectra’s range of innovative solutions will open up new opportunities for Chinese companies. In these very challenging times, Lectra has a vital role to play in supporting the textile industry and maintaining a permanent communication link between its experts and customers in Greater China. Andreas Kim’s extensive professional experience—in both marketing and services—and his knowledge of our customers and our technologies are key strengths that will help us achieve our ambitious goals in Greater China.
We believe it is Lectra’s role to help Chinese customers overcome the challenges their industries face. Manufacturers operate in an increasingly competitive environment and are under pressure to improve time to market and reduce costs, while expanding their product offer. In China, the fashion, automotive and furniture markets are undergoing rapid transformation in order to supply growing domestic and export demands. We will capitalize on Lectra’s added-value solutions and services to create a clear competitive advantage for our customers and help them turn challenges into opportunities.

Wangyang: Compare with Dassault Systemes or other software vendors, what is the advantage of Lectra PLM?
Philippe RIBERA: Referring to Fashion industry, DS is what we call a generalist PLM. For DS PLM is defined as the combination of job-oriented tools (Catia, Simulia, Delmia) and a collaborative platform (Enovia), the full scope is only available for automotive and aerospace industry.
You cannot find any job-oriented tool for fashion in the DS suit such as design, pattern-making, or simulation tools for soft-goods simply because this implies an in-depth know-how only acquired by many years of experience serving the industry.
DS is sized and used to handling multi-billion $ companies, mainly in Automotive & Aeronautic; in fashion, the bulk of firms are SME (Small & Medium Enterprises).
Advantage of Lectra Fashion PLM solutions:
When we talk about PLM for the fashion market, we should have in mind the needs of fashion retailers, brands and manufacturers (Boost creativity in design for a distinctive brand image, Improve collaboration across the supply chain for enhanced quality, Shorten collection cycles for faster time-to-market, Control design and development costs) and the end-to-end lifecycle fashion process.
To fully maximize the PLM benefits, a PLM solution must be able to cover the end-to-end collection lifecycle: from idea to the delivery of the fashion goods. In that respect, only Lectra is able to serve the industry with the required PLM for Fashion solutions since we have solutions for design, pattern making, marker-making down to the cutting-rooms and have integrated them in our collaborative platform, supporting the business processes.
To perfectly match the fashion firms expectations and give them the right level of support, we need to provide them with in-depth fashion know-how, best practices and methodologies, what we have developed over the last 35 years by serving the fashion industry.

Wangyang: As far as I know, Lectra PLM not only dedicated in the fashion goods manufacturing, but also serves the automotive, aeronautics and other industries. Please introduce the similarities and differences about the applications of Lectra PLM in those industries.
Philippe RIBERA: Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions that automate, streamline and accelerate product design, development and manufacturing processes for industries using soft materials. Lectra develops the most advanced specialized software and cutting systems and provides associated services to a broad array of markets including fashion (apparel, accessories, footwear), automotive (car seats and interiors, airbags), furniture, as well as a wide variety of other market sectors, such as aeronautical and marine industries, wind power and personal protective equipment.
However, our PLM technologies is fully dedicated to the Fashion world: we have the only “Fashion-specific” PLM solution versus other PLM solution which are “general” PLM solutions, and engineered to answer the needs of aeronautics, automotive, etc....industries but are not dedicated to fashion industries.
Our PLM offer - modular and scalable – embeds:
●in-built best practices developed throughout Lectra’s years of work with the biggest names in fashion (this includes modules for line planning, scheduling, costing, sourcing and performance monitoring, created with strategic decision makers in mind)
●process-based applications for fashion design, technical specifications, pattern-making, 3D prototyping and sample development, which is not the case of our competitors.
In addition to our fashion software offer, Lectra is also able to propose fashion oriented services, especially created for the needs of the fashion industry. Our consultants and solutions are able to deliver best practices and methodologies (BPA, BVA, Easy Start) to improve in-house process, bring innovation and leverage the PLM investments. Finally, our exclusive partnership with Walter Wilhelm Associates (WWA) makes the Lectra Fashion offers the most complete offer, available on the market.
This is really what makes us unique on the market.

Wangyang: Since Lectra come into Chinese market later than many other vendors, how to develop and expand the market in the very beginning? How to boost the localization?
Philippe RIBERA: Lectra is not a new comer in China: the company has been established in Greater China since 1986. Lectra’s activity in the region has gone from strength to strength. The company now manages close relationships with more than 2,000 customers, through a team of 90 people located in five main offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Taipei, along with staff in several additional services locations.
In addition to the advantages offered by its local specialized expertise in their specific sectors, Lectra’s Chinese customers benefit from the experience and know-how of both Lectra local and international expert teams to bring projects to a successful conclusion, reinforce their position, continually improve their productivity, and help them overcome the challenges. In its 35 years of existence, Lectra has never ceased to innovate, so that its customers may benefit from the most advanced technologies.
Lectra also ensures permanent high-quality services to its Chinese customers through its International Call Center and International Advanced Technology Center (IATC) to present the entire range of Lectra technologies, both located in Shanghai.
For the localization in China, we will complement our large international best practices process knowledge with Chinese local expertise in order to serve all specific customer requirements.

Wangyang: Please introduce the development status of Lectra. What is the vision of Lectra?
Philippe RIBERA: Lectra Invests in the Long Term
●      In R&D: €16.2 million invested in 2009, Plus 200 engineers
●      In recruitment and team training: R&D Software, solutions experts and consultants, sales and pre-sales teams, worldwide PLM teams, North America, and Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India)
●      In partnerships
●      Feb. 2009: Signature of an exclusive, worldwide and multi-year partnership agreement with Walter Wilhelm Associates to support the Lectra Fashion PLM solution
●      Jan. 2010: Lectra and X-Rite/Pantone signed partnership agreement to deliver integrated color technology for enhanced design workflow and seamless color communication
●      In Education : Lectra contributes to the training and preparation of students for life-long careers. Partnerships with 800 schools in over 60 countries

About Philippe Ribera:
Philippe Ribera is responsible for the definition and implementation of the group's software marketing action plans for all industries. One of his main priorities will be to ensure the success of the company’s Lectra Fashion PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) strategy.
Philippe Ribera's nomination crowns a career spanning more than 20 years with Lectra, where he has held various marketing and sales development posts in France and the USA. From 2004 to 2006, he was Sales Director of Lectra's U.S. subsidiary; since 2008, he has held the position of Marketing Director for France.

About Lectra:
Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions that automate, streamline, and accelerate product design, development, and manufacturing processes for industries using soft materials. Lectra develops the most advanced specialized software and cutting systems and provides associated services to a broad array of markets including fashion (apparel, accessories, footwear), automotive (car seats and interiors, airbags), and furniture, as well as a wide variety of other market sectors, such as the aeronautical and marine industries, wind power, and personal protective equipment.

Editor: Sophie Shi  ss@e-works.net.cn

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