Author: Yen, Gordon
Title: The critical role of fabric mills on the raw material management in the apparel supply chain
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2005
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Textile fabrics -- China -- Hong Kong -- Management
Business logistics -- China
Clothing and dress -- China -- Marketing
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: 123 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Abstract: Today's textile and apparel industry has one of the most important, complex, and fragmented supply chain amongst many industries, involving well over 150 countries in 5 different continents in the world. According to the data of the US Department of Commerce for the year 2004, the US alone imported almost US$67 billion of apparel and accessories (Harmonized System Codes 61 and 61) from over 150 different countries around the world of which the largest supplying country China only represented about 5% of total amount. In contrast, the US import of toys, games and sport equipment related products (Harmonized System Codes 95) for the same period was only US$22 billion of which the largest supplying country China represented over 78% of total amount. However, there is a lack of research in the area of raw material procurement and management of up-stream component manufacturer whose actions could have a critical impact on the efficiency of the overall supply chain. A typical fabric manufacturer, confronted with highly uncertain material supply and quick response demand for customized fabrics from large number of apparel manufactures, plays a critical role in the operating efficiency and overall cost control in a textile and apparel supply chain. Along the apparel supply chain for cut-and-sewn knitted apparel, which makes up of a very significant portion of today's casual wear market, the retail segment and the fabric manufacturing segment are relatively more consolidated as compared to the garment and yam manufacturing segments. There are generally fewer numbers of retailers and knitted fabric mills than there are yarn spinning mills and garment manufacturers. As fabric mills typically control the initial steps in the customization of a cut-and-sewn knitted apparel starting with the fabric knitting process, the knitted fabric mill becomes one of the most critical areas to focus on for improving the performance and efficiency of the overall supply chain.
This research focuses on the major raw material (i.e. yam) inventory management policy of knitted fabric producers for the apparel market. A raw material procurement policy labeled as the (S0, Q₁, Q₂) model is developed and simulation programs are constructed to apply this model on both single item and multiple item situations. The results reveal the relationship between key factors that affect the yarn procurement and inventory management decisions faced by a fabric mill and the total expect material cost as well as the initial safety inventory level. As the first research of its kind dedicated to the raw material procurement and inventory management of knitted fabric mills, it will create awareness and provide a platform for future research on the supply chain issues concerning manufacturers of up-stream make-to-order customized component facing demand uncertainly and frequent change of product specifications. The results can serve as a guideline for improving the competitiveness of the global apparel supply chain by improving the performance of one of the most critical component manufacturers within the supply chain. It is also possible to extend the results to other similar industries that require highly customized components with demand uncertainly and frequent change of product specifications, such as the footwear industry.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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