The Kurabo Group is a powerhouse in Japan’s textile industry. It has an extensive supply chain, producing clothing for high-profile brands like Wacoal and Miki House, as well as uniforms and casualwear. Kurabo International owns and operates plants in China, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam, but the company processes its most complex orders in Japan. Unwilling to give up their domestic production sites, Kurabo looked for other ways to lower costs. The company eventually turned to Lectra to provide them with the best technology to help streamline their cutting room processes.
Founded in 1973, Kurabo International is one of Japan’s major textile trading firm, generating $202.4m in annual revenue in 2016 and producing 25 million pieces a year for big-name customers. While the company operates plants in countries such as China, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam, it has two domestic factories in Murakami and Takeda that specialize in manufacturing higher-quality items. Because producing in Japan is more expensive than overseas, Kurabo needed to lower its costs to keep its pricing competitive, without sacrificing profits or quality. In addition, many long-time employees were retiring, leaving a gap in the company’s skilled workforce and a decrease in efficiency, productivity and cutting quality.
Kurabo used Lectra’s patternmaking software Modaris to streamline their product development process. The solution saved the company time and money by allowing them to check color and fit faster and more accurately. This allowed Kurabo to lower costs and deliver to market faster because it only needed to produce one prototype instead of five. Kurabo then tackled the problem of their aging workforce by adding Lectra’s marker-making software Diamino and its Vector fashion cutting machines to its cutting room. The Vectors’ easy handling required fewer people (and skills) to manage the cutting process, while their speed and accurate zero-buffer cutting boosted productivity by 10%.