Supply Chain Linkages: Opportunities for the U.S. Textile Supply Chain

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Title: Supply Chain Linkages: Opportunities for the U.S. Textile Supply Chain
Author: Sheek, Susan Ada
Advisors: Prof. Nancy Powell, Committee Member
Dr. Jeffrey Joines, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Nancy Cassill, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: In today’s competitive marketplace, especially given the current economic environment, companies are re-examining their supply chain configurations in order to better meet customer needs and contribute to corporate profitability. During this examination, a wide array of variables are taken into account in order to ensure the exploration of as many opportunities as possible. Some of these variables, termed “drivers†in this study, are issues for which the company may have more decision-making control, or company-controlled drivers, and include: efficiencies of production, branding and marketing, and services offered to customers. Community-controlled drivers, over which the company has less control, but still have significant impact on the company, include: energy prices, trade legislation, and labor force availability. Understanding the effects of these drivers lends greater understanding of successful supply chain configurations. This research provides insight into the linkages, or relationships, that occur within dominant supply chain structures used by U.S. retailers that market three textile product categories: upholstered furniture, denim jeans, and activewear (synthetic knit tops). These three textile product categories represent a sizeable customer base of the U.S. retail industry and information about their supply chains provides opportunities for retailers to improve their supply chain efficiencies and capitalize on this growing market. Furthermore, this understanding provides opportunities for U.S. textile manufacturers to better position themselves to become vital players in retail supply chains which will have a key impact to the U.S. textile industry. Establishing a better understanding of the linkages between firms at all levels of the textile supply chain enables supply chain members to identify opportunities to work together more closely and build lasting relationships that benefit all parties. This research utilizes a three-phase methodology. The first Phase consists of secondary data collection and interview questionnaire development. Phase II involved conducting interviews with industry professionals at all levels of U.S. textile supply chains, from fiber to retailer. Finally, aggregate data were analyzed in Phase III in order to identify opportunities for the U.S. textile supply chain.
Date: 2010-04-27
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile Technology Management

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