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Alibaba opens Xunxi Digital Factory, uses cloud computing infrastructure and IoT

Alibaba has opened its Xunxi Digital Factory, based on a new manufacturing model. Powered by Alibaba’s cloud computing infrastructure and IoT, the Hangzhou-based factory offers SMEs a digitalized manufacturing supply chain that enables customized, demand driven production, Alibaba said.

“Data is the core of New Manufacturing and harnessing data insights is key to capturing new opportunities in the shift in consumer preference for personalized rather than mass-produced goods. New Manufacturing transforms traditional manufacturers with data-driven intelligence and technology to move towards a more agile model of production based on real-time demand,” said Alain Wu, CEO of Xunxi Digital Technology Company, Alibaba Group. “This allows traditional manufacturers to improve profitability and reduce inventory levels while still being able to meet these personalization needs”, the CEO added.

At an early stage, apparel was identified as the starting point for Xunxi. Powered by new technologies such as real-time resourcing, process and cost planning, automated in-house logistics and Xunxi’s manufacturing operating system, the factory can “produce small-batch orders at reasonable costs and with shorter delivery times, consequently increasing manufacturing efficiency from 25 percent to an average of 55 percent”, Alibaba said. 

Xunxi’s trend and sales forecast model alongside its own AI-based integrated product design platform gives manufacturers insights into consumer preferences. This enhanced information flow is designed to reduce research and development costs and enable businesses to capture opportunities for consumer personalization.

Since its inception, the factory has collaborated with Taobao and Tmall merchants, livestreaming broadcasters and streetwear designers to explore and experiment with new possibilities of apparel manufacturing.

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