Strategic Analysis of Speed and Flexibility In Sourcing Textile Products

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Title: Strategic Analysis of Speed and Flexibility In Sourcing Textile Products
Author: Hartman, Lisa M.
Advisors: Dr. Jeffrey A. Joines, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Russell E. King, Committee Member
Dr. Kristin A. Thoney, Committee Chair
Chris Moses, Committee Member
Abstract: It is becoming increasingly difficult for textile companies in the United States to compete with companies around the world. Each company needs to determine ways that their company can compete on a global level. One way that textile companies can compete is by taking advantage of their proximity to the home market. This research looked at three types of garments: basic, seasonal, and fashion items and the advantages and disadvantages of sourcing these garments in four regions of the world: Domestic (manufacturers in the United States), American (manufacturers in Central and South America and the Caribbean), Far East (manufacturers in Asia other than Pakistan and India), and Pakistan/India (manufacturers in Pakistan and India). This research was divided into two parts: computer simulations and surveys. Computer simulations performed on the Sourcing Simulator™ looked at case studies and the effect of forecasting error, drift, lead times, and seasonality on the type of garments based on the criteria of service levels, gross margins, and inventory levels. The simulations were used to determine the amount of merchandise that should be initially ordered and the number of weeks of supply the retailer should carry in the store in order to meet desired service levels. From the simulations performed, it was determined that as the lead time of suppliers increases, the inventory levels that are needed in order to meet desired service levels also increase. Longer lead times require more inventory between reorders and initially to meet service levels. With longer lead times more inventory is needed to account for any variations in demand since it would take a retailer longer to receive a replenishment. Two surveys were administered, one to apparel manufacturers and one to apparel retailers. The purpose of the surveys was to collect supplemental data for the simulations performed. From the simulations, numerical data was collected. The surveys data expresses opinions, thoughts, and feelings that are to be used to better understand the significance of the simulations results. The surveys looked at the relationships between apparel manufacturers and apparel retailers and any concerns or problems experienced by members in the supply chain. The surveys also served the purpose of obtaining information about how sourcing decisions are made. The information can then be applied to future research to reflect the industry's methods of making decisions. From the apparel manufacturer's survey, the criteria that are most important when choosing a manufacturer were revealed. Also what factors are taken into consideration when choosing to use a manufacturer from a specific region were determined. The advantages and disadvantages of using a manufacturer from a specific region were also identified. From the questions about each region, it was shown what costs, concerns, and lead times are associated with each region. From the apparel retailer's survey, the criteria that are considered most important when choosing a manufacturer were found. The effect that the region of the world that the manufacturer is located has on their being chosen as a manufacturer was also studied. The survey also determined how retailers make decisions about purchasing, if retailers have replenishments on items, and how replenishments are handled. The performance measures used to evaluate a selling season were identified as well as what customer service levels retailers try to maintain.
Date: 2007-04-28
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile Technology Management

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