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How are supply chains coordinated? An empirical observation in textile‐apparel businesses

Ning Cao (Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)
Zhiming Zhang (Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)
Kin Man To (Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)
Keng Po Ng (Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 11 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal the empirical issues of the implementation of coordination for textile‐apparel supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

Employing case study, the paper examines three different types of coordination practice in three different structures of textile‐apparel supply chains: vertical integration chain, efficiency oriented chain and 3P‐hub chain. The coordinators are three leading Hong Kong based international textiles and apparel companies in these cases. The case sources are published articles, company web sites and some open seminars offered by the case companies.

Findings

In textile and apparel industries, brand owners generally coordinate the supply chain. There are also other coordination practices in industries. Through the research observations and analyses in the cases it is found that the integrated company, powerful garment manufacturer and trade agent play the role of coordinators in vertical integration chain, efficiency oriented chain and 3P‐hub chain, respectively. No matter what type of coordination practice, information sharing and product flow coordination should be comprehensive. Coordinators are the information centers of the whole supply chain. They should have power to manage the supply chain. They should actively integrate the whole chain for maximum total profitability.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is just an overview of coordination practice in textile‐apparel supply chains. The case sources are published articles, company web sites and some open seminars made by the case companies. The methodology should be more systematic.

Originality/value

Coordination in textile‐apparel supply chains is still an unresolved question both from the theoretic and practical points of view. This paper fills in some of the gaps.

Keywords

Citation

Cao, N., Zhang, Z., Man To, K. and Po Ng, K. (2008), "How are supply chains coordinated? An empirical observation in textile‐apparel businesses", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 384-397. https://doi.org/10.1108/13612020810889326

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited