Improving the Competitiveness of US Textile Manufacturers with E-business Initiatives Related to Supply Chain

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Title: Improving the Competitiveness of US Textile Manufacturers with E-business Initiatives Related to Supply Chain
Author: Lauer, Christopher
Advisors: Dr. George Hodge, Committee Chair
Dr. Nancy Cassill, Committee Member
Dr. Kristin Thoney, Committee Member
Abstract: This research conducted case studies to define the benefits, costs, and risks employed with the use of E-business in supply chain management. The case studies further explored the relationship with customers and suppliers in the supply chain based on adopting E-business initiatives. Open-ended, in-person interviews with US textile manufacturing companies were also conducted. This study used a two-phase mixed methods approach in order to gain secondary data resources and primary data from in-depth interviews with industry executives. Ten textile manufacturing companies in the Southeastern United States were interviewed. All of the interviews were conducted in person except for one that was conducted via telephone. Three in depth case studies were conducted addressing the uses of e-business initiatives based on VAN and the internet. A list of B-2-B supply chain transactions were complied based on the sample's responses. These transaction are being exchanged by VAN EDI based on 58% of the sample has this e-business technology in place. Advance shipment notification is the transaction that is being exchanged the most between trading partners. The advance shipment notification is then being used to manage raw material and finish goods inventory. This study also found that the lack of IT knowledgeable staff, the cost of e-business technology, and the small demand for this technology from their supply chain partners are the main barriers of e-business implementation. However, the companies in this sample that implemented e-business into their supply chain have seen: an increase in data accuracy, transaction cost reduction, decrease time spent on non value added tasks, and improved customer satisfaction levels. This study also contains three case studies that focused on the implementation of e-business into an US textile manufacturer's supply chain when dealing with B-2-B transactions. The first case study focused on what is the cost difference for a greige fabric manufacturer to send or receive an advance shipment notice manually, through a VAN EDI system, or AS2 software. The second case study concentrated on why a large spun yarn manufacturer's customers are starting to inquire about having information made visible on the internet and also what benefits does this create for their supply chain. Third case study documented how a fabric manufacturer customized a process to eliminate VAN charges when exchanging B-2-B supply chain information.
Date: 2007-05-10
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management

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