Improving the Competitiveness of North Carolina Textile Manufacturers with E-business Initiatives

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Title: Improving the Competitiveness of North Carolina Textile Manufacturers with E-business Initiatives
Author: Cagle, Christine Michelle
Advisors: Timothy Clapp, Committee Member
William Oxenham, Committee Member
Nancy Cassill, Committee Member
George Hodge, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to improve the decision making process of textile manufacturers by providing information on how the North Carolina textile manufacturing industry is using e-business. This study reveals what e-business initiatives North Carolina textile manufacturers are currently using, the initiatives that they are planning to invest in next, the benefits experienced, the challenges faced, and in what business areas they expect to see the greatest future benefits from e-business for the textile industry. It is important to note that the focus of this study is on business-to-business e-business in textile mills and does not include textile product mills or apparel manufacturers. The methodology used in this study consisted of two phases. Phase I was an analysis of secondary sources. A database of textile manufacturing companies in North Carolina with a primary NAICS code of 313 was compiled. The resultant database was used to develop the sample for Phase II-A, the questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed by the researcher based on information collected from the literature review and the analysis of similar studies performed abroad. Phase II of the study consisted of two parts. Phase II-A was the distribution and analysis of the questionnaire. The resulting response rate was 38.1%, with 117 total usable responses. Phase II-B utilized case study methodology and built on the results of the questionnaire to gain a more in-depth understanding of the subject. The sample for the case studies consisted of 7 companies in North Carolina and 2 companies in South Carolina. The results indicate a limited degree of implementation of e-business in the textile mill sector of the North Carolina textile industry. While websites were used by 67% of the survey respondents, few are using e-business to its full potential. Telephone, fax, and email still seem to be the prevalent methods of communication with business partners, especially for small and medium sized firms. A conceptual model was developed indicating the current and potential implementation of e-business in the textile industry.
Date: 2006-05-10
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Textile Technology Management

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