Responsive manufacturing: creating competitive advantage through domestic and international sourcing practices
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 15:48 by Tarah Burke
This study analyzed factors affecting production choices and resulting benefits and challenges associated with apparel production sourcing. The research focused on sourcing strategies’ effect on competitive advantage. Data were gathered through interviews with production sourcing professionals in Canadian and U.S. apparel firms that use offshore, domestic, or combined offshore/domestic production methods. Findings indicate offshore production may result in lost time and profit due to lack of control, wasted materials, rising production and shipping costs, and decreased quality and consumer-perceived brand value. Localized manufacturing may increase firms’ competitive advantage through improved control of production processes; enhanced customization, adaptation, and response to consumer desire; increased perceived brand value; and reduced waste level, number of failed products, and markdowns. Strategic sourcing and smaller-scale, localized production also supports the local economy, thus creating apparel firms that are strategic, responsible, and profitable.