Photo Gallery 053: Reformed Production Line, Reformed New Workers

摘要: Whether it’s B2C or C2, human labor is the key. In TMTPost Photo Gallery 053, we paid a field visit to Kutesmart’s factory and recorded the young faces who applied the reform to practice.

Editor’s Note:

Redcollar Group turned from B2C to C2M model in 2003. Near the end of this year, Kutesmart is going to be its official name, while Redcollar is only going to be a brand under Cotte. Today, this garment enterprise is going to set off another revolution.

Whether it’s B2C or C2, human labor is the key. In TMTPost Photo Gallery 053, we paid a field visit to Kutesmart’s factory and recorded the young faces who applied the reform to practice.

It was April 14th 2017. The Tie Wall of Kutesmart’s factory at Qingdao, Shandong Province. Kutesmart’s predecessor was a 22-year-old garment enterprise called Qingdao Redcollar Group. The enterprise drew much attention by being the first one to adopt the C2M model.

A big conference room was near the exhibition area and the factory, which is quite tylical of Redcollar’s factories. When you went through the quite conference room and entered the factory, you might be overwhelmed by a hubbub of voices. Therefore, front-line workers can make decisions ASAP and rapidly apply all kinds of decisions to production lines in time.

This is a template (including all the production processes in making a suite) Kutesmart specially prepared for the outside.

Kutesmart’s big data center, supply chain center, smart sewing factory, sewing area, personalized and cusom-made area, smart sewing line, quality control ceter, etc. work closely together to custom-make 1,500 suites every day based on IoT and smart management.

Kutesmart accumulated its 12 years of experience and established a complete set of “human body structure model”. Little Peng was one of the workers responsible for the daily maintenance of the data ceter. He entered the factory at the age of 23, so it has been six years. His old colleagues are almost all the veteran workers at the factory, and some of them even entered the factory when it was first established.

At the sewing area, a worker was working. Based on the “origin theory” come up with by Kutesmart’s chariman Zhang Daili, Kutesmart has been steadily reforming its structure. According to Zhang, efficiency of Kutesmart’s product line was improved by 20 per cent while return rate was reduced by 80 per cent and total profit rate was improved by 20 to 30 per cent.

Little Fang, aged 27, was a sewing worker. Kutesmart’s reform had huge influence on him. “In the past, I could only complete 8 suites an hour; today, however, I could complete 14 suites an hour, almost one time more,” he told TMTPost. Before Kutesmart, Fang worked in other factories. After the “anti-bureaucracy” reform, he no longer needed to go through different procedures.

Little Yao has been working in the personalized custom-made area for three years. Starting from internship, it took her one year to grasp all the processes in the area. She studied fashion design during college and she had many classmates at Kutesmart. “In the past, if I find some problems with the process, I have to report to the monitor and then to the superior. Now, however, I can directly turn to the working mate and solve the problem within less than two to three minutes, since every product has a card and I can tell exactly who’s responsible for what from the card,” she explained.

RFID card was key to Kutesmart’s C2M system. All the necessary data is stored on the tiny card. By referring to the card, workers can tell what should they do when they are assigned the products.

Every worker has a screen before him or her. As long as they scan the RFID card of the clothes, they will know exactly the exact process they are supposed to do. Kutesmart’s system makes sure that they can complete custom-made orders on the product lines ASAP. In general, it takes seven days to go through from measuring body size to finishing the order. Through the RFID card, the factory can also real-time monitor the working condition of every work and every product line.

At Kutesmart’s factory, every suite will go through from fabrics to different process groups and posts.

A worker was hanging the fabric and RFID card to the hook.

Ms. Dou has worked for Kutesmart for two years as a sewing worker. She would help out in other posts if she’s not busy. “I asked for it myself. After all, I can make some extra money by doing so,” she said.

Mr. Xu was responsible for drawing the location of pockets. On average, he had to complete this work for 500 suites every day. Based on the difficulty of the task as to suites of different fabrics and styles, he got paid differently.

A skillful sewing worker is supposed to swift among 100 types and colors of lines since every suite is different.

A female worker was ironing the fabric skillfully. At present, there were over 2,000 workers at Kutesmart’s factory, among whom post-90 young people took the majority. To make customized suites, they have to pay special attention when making each suite.

To avoid unnecessary bureaucracy, Kutesmart get rid of the traditional “director and monitor” system and instead adopted the “nucleus” model. In the past, the monitor didn’t get involved in the product line and was only responsible for the command, control and communication between the superior and the surbordinate. As “nucleus”, workers have to fulfil their own processes while solving problems other ordinary workers encountered in the production process at the same time.

A couple of suites of different styles whose cuffs remained to be sewed on. At Kutesmart’s factory, “cells” are not settled. Instead, new cells are formed based on new tasks and workers in the cell have to elect the best among them as the “nucleus”.

A worker was doing necessary ironing on the smart ironing product line before the suites leave the factory.

Suites to leave the factory.

Every day, starting from 11:35 AM, over 2,000 workers would have lunch in the canteen in four batches.

The huge canteen, with carefully-designed queuing channels, can accommodate more than 2,000 people. No personnel are needed to maintain order. The canteen also deliberately set up a non-queuing charity channel for pregnant employees. A university copied Kutesmart’s model to the campus but failed since “students are difficult to manage”.

Kutesmart’s custom-made mobile buses, which are equipped with equipment such as 3D body size measurement device, can transfer customers’ body size data directly to the workshop in a timely manner. Currently, these buses are mainly used for some offline activities.

A recruitment board, which read “Above average salary (RMB 500 to 1,000) & 8-hour workday & 6 workdays a week”, was placed in front of kutesmart’s workshop. A special reception room was set up near the ads board.

It was April 14th, 2017. 07:25 AM. Workers were going from the dormitory to the workshop to start a day’s work.

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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @flybutchery, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.





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