Adding value: challenges for UK apparel supply chain management – a review

Bruce, Margaret Alison and Daly, Lucy (2011) Adding value: challenges for UK apparel supply chain management – a review. Production Planning & Control: The Management of Operations, 22 (3). pp. 210-220. ISSN 0953-7287

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Apparel and textiles is a dynamic sector, subject to constant change. In the recent times, the industry has experienced structural changes, particularly with global sourcing and high levels of price competition. In addition, textiles and clothing are characterised by short product lifecycles, high volatility, low predictability and high levels of impulse purchase. The latest wave of change is that of the credit crunch and its impact on consumer behaviour. It seems that consumers are migrating away from high cost and luxury items, focussing on long-lasting classics and generally consuming less. This article outlines the key features of the textiles and apparel supply chain and identifies the perspectives of lean, agile and leagility (a combination of these) as solutions to achieving quick response, fast fashion and reduced lead times. A case study approach was adopted to understand how companies in the sector are combining both lean and agile to address market conditions.

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