Developing a strategic framework for efficient and effective optimisation of information in the supply chains of the UK clothing manufacture industry

Adebisi Adewole (London Metropolitan University, London, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this paper is to examine the challenges that small firms in the UK clothing manufacturing sector encounter. It has been suggested that small manufacturers' main problems are based on an inadequate information‐sharing structure. This research will explore the strategic significance of information to effective supply chain decisions in small garment‐manufacturing firms.


The paper is designed to employ Porter's five forces to explain the key factors influencing competition in the UK garment manufacturing industry and the relationship of information technology as a facilitator of shared information. In‐depth interviews and observations are conducted in a multiple case approach.


Empirical evidence shows that the slow and inefficient reaction of small garment manufacturers to competitive pressures is associated with inaccurate and untimely information sharing among trading partners.

Research limitations/implications

The methodological approach justified the particularity, the specificity, and the boundedness required in case studies and demonstrates the depth of thoroughness and authentic explanations. It might, however, be useful to obtain a broader and wider sampling frame in any future research.

Practical implications

A successful supply chain will have implications for the upstream and downstream managers, who need to integrate their supply chains as part of a team that creates and adds value to the garments that end up in the hands of the consumers.


This paper has been able to stimulate concerns and interests in owner/managers of small garment manufacturers with special reference to their information needs. The evidence obtained demonstrated the overriding need for structured information strategies that will encourage the efficient flow of accurate and timely information across their supply chains.



Adewole, A. (2005), "Developing a strategic framework for efficient and effective optimisation of information in the supply chains of the UK clothing manufacture industry", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 10 No. 5, pp. 357-366.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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