World leader in sports shoes
A thirty-year record of growth has established Taiwan’s Pou Chen Corporation as one of the world’s largest footwear companies. It now has more than 140,000 employees, production lines in China, Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as in its home country, and manufactures over 80 million pairs of sport shoes each year. This is a long way from the Corporation’s start in 1969, when it began manufacturing PVC sandals and indoor slippers. Even in its early days, Pou Chen was able to generate the profits needed for rapid expansion, by ensuring high quality, emphasising company service, and maintaining large production volumes.
As the company grew, it started to receive requests for athletic shoes from companies such as Sears Roebuck from the USA and Mitsubishi in Japan. In 1979, Pou Chen received its first orders from Adidas, the start of a close relationship between the companies that has lasted for more than twenty years. These orders also reinforced Pou Chen’s focus on the production of athletics shoes and spurred continued improvement in the company’s production quality and efficiency. These efforts were rewarded in 1985, when Reebok appointed Pou Chen as its primary manufacturer of athletic shoes, and again in 1990, when Nike also designated the company as its main manufacturer.
The same year also saw Pou Chen establish its own mould shop, as part of the company’s strategy of providing a completely integrated service to its customers. Within six months, the Mold Group had made its initial move into CADCAM with its first seat of Delcam software. Pou Chen now has ten seats of Power Solution software, as part of the company’s extensive commitment to research and development. This investment has proved essential to meet the different needs of the sports footwear market. As athletics shoes have become more of a fashion item, changing tastes have shortened the product life cycle for each new style. The demand for new designs has increased accordingly, as has the pressure to minimise design and production lead times.
Development Manager George Wei highlighted the various ways in which Delcam’s Power Solution has benefited the company. "By using CADCAM, we can produce moulds of a consistent high quality. We can also produce more complicated designs, with improved performance. The software allows us to control the flow of information from the design stage through to final production. It also enables us to produce additional moulds more quickly to cope with the high demand for popular styles."