Zweave’s Success Story: Concept 2 Market

Concept 2 Market was a case study in how PLM could be used to support the business of an early stage Apparel Sourcing Agent with a small team of users.  Zweave was able to introduce PLM concepts, practices and technologies to support Concept2Market’s business processes.

Company Location: Hong Kong

Partner Locations: China, Vietnam, United States, Great Britain

Total Users: 30

Studios in Use: All

Product Categories: End-to-end full-package service for apparel design, sourcing and manufacturing

Process: CAD, digital printing, product development, customer service

“Zweave’s PLM is a  key ingredient in the recipe”

– Tony Cooper, Founder & CEO, C2M

C2M (Concept2Market) is a full-service apparel design and manufacturing firm headquartered in Hong Kong, serving leading US and European brands with product development and sourcing. In this competitive environment, being able to provide direct-to-factory and product development is a key contributor to C2M’s success.

With a core team of seven, C2M prides itself with the fact that they are a small, tight unit with the ability to keep costs down. The versatile group offers and end-to-end service consisting of apparel design, sourcing and manufacturing. The C2M design center offers CAD and digital printing, product development and even trend direction services, specified to meet customers’ individual requirements and financial objectives, according to Tony Cooper, Founder & CEO.

To fulfill its production requirements, the company formed a joint partnership with Nanhai Yee Fung Fashions, Ltd. The manufacturer, located in Nanhai, China, employs more than 400 and manufactures knit and woven tops, dresses, sleepwear and bottoms for the ladies’ and menswear markets.

Cooper believes that the business model he has formulated provides a unique value proposition for the vertical retailers and manufacturers C2M serves, especially during these times, as other producers bow out in today’s challenging economic climate.

“The vision is offering good service at a competitive price all the way from concept to delivery. We’re seeing that more customers want to work with us. Traditionally, manufacturers and suppliers are bigger and managing a larger overhead so they can’t be as competitive on price as a small flexible unit like ours. We’re offering a pretty compelling alternative.”

As his company was launched, cooper determined that a foundational lynchpin for C2M would be the early deployment of a product lifecycle management (PLM) platform, especially considering that the company’s strategy requires intensive collaboration with its factory and customers, as well as other suppliers.

Discussing his views on the apparel industry’s gradual adaptation of PLM and its growing prominence, Cooper says:

“I think it’s definitely bringing an order to the process — Whereas we’ve all grown technically from a manufacturing capability, I think the development side of things has always remained neglected.”

Cooper says C2M sought a PLM solution to fill that void, one that could support its “intensely visual” product development business.

“Our customers browse libraries of inspiration and move from concept to sample in a matter of days.”

The company’s pronounced selection criteria included three key objectives:

  1. A scalable, flexible product that would take only three months or less to implement
  2. Templates and processes that specifically support apparel
  3. A solution that allowed all stakeholders to easily participate and collaborate in the product lifecycle

After evaluating several software vendors, C2M subscribed early last year to an integrated PLM product suite by Zweave to help them with the management of functions including trend, material, color, fit, design, sourcing, sampling, costing and production management.