Assessing the value of agent certification in global sourcing: An exploratory study in apparel sourcing

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Title: Assessing the value of agent certification in global sourcing: An exploratory study in apparel sourcing
Author: Garg, Ashwajeet
Advisors: Dr. Michelle Jones, Committee Chair
Dr. Peter Kilduff, Committee Member
Dr. George Rouskas, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this research has been to explore the role of agent certification in the process of global sourcing. While some research has been done in the area of exporter-intermediary relationship, little has been done to study the importance of buyer-agent relationship and how the process of agent certification could strengthen that relationship. Global sourcing has played a vital role in the existence of textile and apparel industries across the world. With the increased advancement of developing countries and the numerous advantages that these countries possess, developed countries, such as the United States and countries in the European sub-continent, rely heavily on global sourcing to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Due to numerous barriers to global sourcing such as language barriers and inability to check sources, companies have found it useful to source through agents. These agents act as the facilitators between the sources and the buyers. With the advent of Internet and e-commerce, online sourcing has come into picture. Although the transparency in terms of sources and buyers on the web and their processes has increased and organizations are thinking of certifying sources, the role of agents' sill exists. A total of 30 agents and apparel-manufacturing buyers were interviewed to assess the feasibility and role of agent certification in the global sourcing process. While the specific items to be certified were not confirmed, both types of subjects agreed that agent certification would assist in the transactions in the buyer-agent relationship. It was found that small and medium-sized buyers would find agent certification more useful than large-sized buyers because of small-size buyers' limited resources and potential to find trusted agents.
Date: 2002-10-22
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management

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