Supply Chain in Apparel Sector
Supply Chain Management:
Supply Chain Management is the integration of key business processes from end user to original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders.
The Apparel Supply Chain:
The Apparel Supply Chain comprises diverse raw material sectors, ginning facilities, spinning and extrusion processes, processing sector, weaving and knitting factories and garment (and other stitched and non-stitched) manufacturing that supply an extensive distribution channel. This supply chain is perhaps one of the most diverse in terms of the raw materials used, technologies deployed and products produced.
This supply chain supplies about 70 per cent by value of its production to the domestic market. The distribution channel comprises wholesalers, distributors and a large number of small retailers selling garments and textiles. It is only recently that large retail formats are emerging thereby increasing variety as well as volume on display at a single location. Another feature of the distribution channel is the strong presence of ‘agents’ who secure and consolidate orders for producers.
Definition of supply chain management as developed and used by The Global Supply Chain Forum (3): Supply Chain Management is the integration of key business processes from end user to original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders.
The above definition is reflected in the configuration of a typical apparel supply, shown in fig-2. As evident, the entire apparel supply chain consists of every organization starting from initial fibre supplier to consumer purchasing apparel products for final consumption. Each organization comprises various functional domains, as manufacturing, planning, marketing etc. as shown in the fig-2. Effective supply chain manages flow of demand and supply, which are moving in the opposite direction to each other, in an efficient way at every node of supply chain.
Depending on types of demand and supply, the apparel supply chain can be categorized principally into three kinds: Push, Pull and Synchronous.
Supply chain configuration depends on clock-speed of organization. Clock-speed of organization is the speed with which the product-portfolio and process change in response to market demand. So, organization having low clock-speed, i.e. with relatively stable demand may have push oriented supply chain. On the other hand, a high clock-speed organization with variable market demand may have pull oriented supply chain.