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Measuring supply chain visibility in the apparel industry

Maria Caridi (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Alessandro Perego (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Angela Tumino (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 22 February 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to propose an innovative quantitative approach to measure visibility in outbound supply chains and to implement it in order to evaluate the current degree of visibility that focal companies operating in the apparel industry have on their supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an in‐depth literature review on supply chain visibility and on 11 case studies in the apparel industry.

Findings

The outcome of the paper is twofold. First, it proposes a metric for measuring visibility in complex outbound supply chains. Second, it analyses the quantity and quality of visible information in eleven companies belonging to the apparel industry, comparing visibility on outbound supply chains vs inbound supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

Although the paper shows the usefulness of the proposed metrics in supporting value assessment, a structured tool is still to be developed. Moreover, the visibility metric is suitable for benchmarking analyses, but the sample presented in the study is still limited and should be enlarged by further studies, also considering other industries.

Originality/value

The metrics so far proposed by researchers to assess the level of visibility in complex supply networks are mainly focused on the upstream supply chain; this paper fills the gap by proposing a quantitative metric for assessing the degree of visibility on the outbound supply chain. Moreover, some interesting insights about visibility in the apparel industry have been found on the basis of 11 case studies.

Keywords

Citation

Caridi, M., Perego, A. and Tumino, A. (2013), "Measuring supply chain visibility in the apparel industry", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 25-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/14635771311299470

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited