Innovative Process in E-Commerce Fashion Supply Chains

Bruce, Margaret Alison and Daly, Lucy (2010) Innovative Process in E-Commerce Fashion Supply Chains. In: Innovative Quick Response Programs in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. International Handbooks on Information Systems . Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 227-242. ISBN 978-3-642-04312-3

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Fashion is price sensitive and runs on tight margins. Consumers expect high quality fashion at competitive prices, and in a recession falling prices and demand are particularly acute. This presents challenges for the supply chain. The sector is driven by cost and the need to manage the supply chain more effectively to reduce excess stock and risk in product forecasting. Increasing competition from low labour cost countries puts pressure on manufacturers to push down prices and, at the same time, to offer exceptional levels of service. Manufacturers may not wish to compete on the basis of price, and thus must find some other means of differentiation to remain competitive. E-commerce allows companies to improve communications within the supply chain and enhance service offering, thus providing opportunities for competitive differentiation. However, companies may not have the skills to develop e-commerce operations immediately, nor be able to realise revenue stream from investment in this technology and so may be unable to assess fully the risk of investment. Through the presentation of primary research, this chapter addresses the adoption process and the use of e-commerce in the textiles and clothing supply chain.

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