Title: Supply chain management in fashion and textile industry

Authors: Per Hilletofth, Olli-Pekka Hilmola

Addresses: School of Technology and Society, University of Skovde, P.O. Box 408, Skovde SE-541 28, Sweden. ' Lappeenranta University of Technology, Prikaatintie 9, Kouvola FIN-45100, Finland

Abstract: In fashion and textile business, the demand changes rapidly due to fashion trends and a volatile market situation. This demand is unpredictable and could vary and change completely in a short time, creating high difficulties for supply chain. To create a leagil (lean and agile) supply chain is one observed way for a fashion and textile retailing company to optimise its performance and to remain competitive. One good example from such is fashion retailer Zara, which has adopted leagile approach and combined this with key success factors for fashion retailing. However, in this paper, we argue that the leagile approach is not a universal solution in the fashion and textile business. For some fashion and textile companies, the lean approach is more adequate. Case study findings and simulation results reveal that the lean and leagile approach could coexist as different strategy alternatives – simulation results favour leagile strategy, while five year profitability analysis shows lean apparel retailer H&M to have higher profitability than Zara.

Keywords: supply chain management; SCM; supply chain strategies; fashion logistics; lean supply chains; agile supply chains; leagile supply; fashion and textile industry; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCI.2008.019608

International Journal of Services Sciences, 2008 Vol.1 No.2, pp.127 - 147

Published online: 17 Jul 2008 *

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