A Stitch in Time: Lean Retailing and the Transformation of Manufacturing--Lessons from the Apparel…

Hardcover | June 1, 1999

byFrederick H. Abernathy, John T. Dunlop, Janice H. Hammond

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The apparel and textile industries have always been at the mercy of rapidly changing styles and fickle customers who want the latest designs while they are still in fashion. The result for these businesses, often forced to forecast sales and order from suppliers with scant information aboutvolatile demand, is a history of stock shortages, high inventories, and costly markdowns. But, as the authors explain in A Stitch in Time, technological advances in the 1980s paved the way for a new concept in retailing--lean retailing. Pioneered by companies like WAL-MART, lean retailing has reshaped the way that products are ordered, virtually eliminating delays from distribution center to sales rack by drawing on sales data captured electronically at the checkout counter. Armed with up-to-the-minute data about colors, sizes,styles, and geographic sales, apparel and textile companies now must be able to respond rapidly to real-time orders efficiently based on new approaches to distributing merchandise, forecasting, planning, organizing production, and managing supplier relations. A Stitch in Time shows that even in theface of burgeoning product proliferation, companies that successfully adapt to the world of lean retailing can reduce inventory risk, reduce costs, and increase profitability while improving their responsiveness to the ever-changing tastes of customers. Based on the success of these practices inthe apparel industry, lean retailing practices are propagating through a growing number of consumer product industries. A richly detailed and resonant account, A Stitch in Time brilliantly captures both the history and future of the retail-apparel-textile channel and offers bold insights on the changes and challenges facing retailers and manufacturers in all segments of our rapidly changing economy.

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From the Publisher

The apparel and textile industries have always been at the mercy of rapidly changing styles and fickle customers who want the latest designs while they are still in fashion. The result for these businesses, often forced to forecast sales and order from suppliers with scant information aboutvolatile demand, is a history of stock shorta...

Frederick H. Abernathy joined John T. Dunlop in a 1979 study of the Tailored Clothing Industry which led to the establishment of the Textile and Clothing Technology Corporation ([TC]2). His continued involvement with the apparel industry led the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support the research resulting in this book. He is Abbott an...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 1.3 inPublished:June 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195126157

ISBN - 13:9780195126150

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The New Competitive Advantage in Apparel2. The Past as Prologue: Historical Background on the U.S. Retail, Apparel, and Textile Industries3. The Retail Revolution: Traditional Versus Lean Retailing4. The Building Blocks of Lean Retailing5. The Impact of Lean Retailing6. Inventory Management for the Retailer: Demand Forecasting and Stocking Decisions7. Inventory Management for the Manufacturer: Production Planning and Optimal Sourcing Decisions8. Apparel Operations: Getting Ready to Sew9. Apparel Operations: Assembly and the Sewing Room10. Human Resources in Apparel11. Textile Operations: Spinning, Weaving, and Finishing Cloth12. The Economic Viability of Textiles: A Tale of Multiple Channels13. The Global Marketplace14. Suppliers in a Lean World: Firm and Industry Performance in an Integrated Channel15. Information-Integrated Channels: Public Policy Implications and Future DirectionsAppendix A: List of AcronymsAppendix B; The HCTAR SurveyAppendix C: Data SourcesAppendix D: Companies Visited or Interviewed by HCTARNotesSubject IndexName IndexBusiness Index

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent, comprehensive exposition of the transformation that is taking place in the apparel business--from design through the sale of the end product to the ultimate consumer. It chronicles not only the business implications of the transformation but also its impact on the economy andlabor markets nationally and internationally. It is essential readign for insights into future related developments in the apparel industry, and comparable changes in other sectors of business."--Walter Salmon, Harvard Business School