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A Stitch in Time : Lean Retailing and the Transformation of Manufacturing - Lessons from the Apparel and Textile Industries - Frederick H. Abernathy

A Stitch in Time

Lean Retailing and the Transformation of Manufacturing - Lessons from the Apparel and Textile Industries

Hardcover Published: 1st June 1999
ISBN: 9780195126150
Number Of Pages: 384

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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 about volatile 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 the face 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 in the 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.

Advance praise for A Stitch in Time: "A Stitch in Time is excellent reading for those in the Apparel Industry, whether they are in the retail, garment manufacturing or textile segments, who are interested in improving profitability through lower inventories, shorter lead times, less close-outs, and in general making better decisions on fashion merchandise." --Bernard A. Levanthal, Chairman and CEO, Textile/Clothing Technology Corporation, previous Vice Chairman, Burlington Industries, Inc. "Highlights the Retail Revolution in Apparel Textile industries and demonstrates how informative technology not only benefits the retailer, but also the apparel and textile manufacturers. It provides all the parties with a response in meeting the short time frame in partnership, from ordering a product to its delivery for sale, and how to handle the completed product in their facility....The book is most informative with regard to how the apparel and textile industries operated one hundred percent of the time before, and what needs to be accomplished and what is being done now with the retail revolution for certain products by retailers, apparel and textile manufacturers which assists all of the parties an enhanced doemstic manufacturing and employment. It also serves as a basis for other industries to deal with the retail revolution." --Jack Sheinkman, Vice Chair, Vice Chair, Amalgamated Bank of New York and President Emeritus, Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (UNITE!) "As this book chronicles, since its beginnings in 1790, the US textile and apparel industry has been a bellwether for a whole host of issues, ranging from early adoption of automation in textiles to experiments in labor relations. And now there are lessons to be learned as this industry strives to exploit information technology to integrate a network of raw material suppliers, manufacturers and retailers working together to flow the right product to the right place at the right time. This excellent book carefully describes these changes and the impact they are having in a way that vividly exposes those lessons for all of us. This is an important book that should be read by anyone in any industry that wants to create an information-integrated channel."--Marshall Fisher, Steven J. Heyman Professor of Service and Operations Management, Wharton Business School, `niversity of Pennsylvania "A Stitch in Time has broader significance than its title suggests. By focusing on the flow of materials and processes involved in the `retail-apparel-textiles channel,' it documents and analyzes the transformation of the institutions and practices of production and mass ditribution of the Industrial Age made possible by the railroad and telegraph over a century ago into those of today's Information Age made possible since the 1960s by the new electronic technologies. This pioneering study is one of the very first to enhance our understanding of the multi-faceted implications of the evolution of industry worldwide from the Industrial Age to the Information Age."--Alfred Chandler, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Emeritus, Harvard Business School "A Stitch in Time is excellent reading for those in the Apparel Industry, whether they are in the retail, garment manufacturing or textile segments, who are interested in improving profitability through lower inventories, shorter lead times, less close-outs, and in general making better decisions on fashion merchandise." --Bernard A. Levanthal, Chairman and CEO, Textile/Clothing Technology Corporation, previous Vice Chairman, Burlington Industries, Inc. "Highlights the Retail Revolution in Apparel Textile industries and demonstrates how informative technology not only benefits the retailer, but also the apparel and textile manufacturers. It provides all the parties with a response in meeting the short time frame in partnership, from ordering a product to its delivery for sale, and how to handle the completed product in their facility....The book is most informative with regard to how the apparel and textile industries operated one hundred percent of the time before, and what needs to be accomplished and what is being done now with the reatil revolution for certain products by retailers, apparel and textile manufacturers which assists all of the parties an enhances doemstic manufacturing and employment. It also serves as a basis for other industries to deal with the reatil revolution." --Jack Sheinkman, Vice Chair, ABNY and Preident Emeritus, ACTWU "As this book chronicles, since its beginnings in 1790, the US textile and apparel industry has been a bellwether on a whole host of issues, ranging from early adoption of automation in textiles to experiments in labor relations. And now there are lessons to be learned as this industry strives to exploit information technology to integrate a network of raw material suppliers, manufacturers and retailers working together to flow the right product to the right place at the right time. This excellent book carefully describes these changes and the impact they are having in a way that vividly exposes those lessons for all o of us. This is an important book that should be read by anyone in any industry that wants to create an information-integrated channel."--Marshall Fisher, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania "A Stitch in Time has broader significance than its title suggests. By focusing on the flow of materials and processes involved in the `retail-apparel-textiles channel,' it documents, and analyzes the transformation of the institutions and practices of production and mass distribution of the Industrial Age made possible by the railroad and telegraph over a century ago into those of today's Information Age made possible since the 1960s by the new electronic technologies. This pioneering study is one of the very first to enhance our understanding of the multi-faceted implications of the evolution of industry worldwide from the Industrial Age to the Information Age."--Alfred Chandler, Harvard Business School "Does a great job of capturing the truly revolutionary changes in our industry over the past ten years. There is no question that `lean retailers' have a significant competitive advantage as we head into the new millennium. This book is well worth reading for anyone with an interest in the general merchandise `pipeline'."--Tom Cole, Chairman and CEO, Federated Logistics & Operations, Federated Department Stores "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 and labor 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

Preface 1: The New Competitive Advantage in Apparel 2: The Past as Prologue: Historical Background on the U.S. Retail, Apparel, and Textile Industries 3: The Retail Revolution: Traditional Versus Lean Retailing 4: The Building Blocks of Lean Retailing 5: The Impact of Lean Retailing 6: Inventory Management for the Retailer: Demand Forecasting and Stocking Decisions 7: Inventory Management for the Manufacturer: Production Planning and Optimal Sourcing Decisions 8: Apparel Operations: Getting Ready to Sew 9: Apparel Operations: Assembly and the Sewing Room 10: Human Resources in Apparel 11: Textile Operations: Spinning, Weaving, and Finishing Cloth 12: The Economic Viability of Textiles: A Tale of Multiple Channels 13: The Global Marketplace 14: Suppliers in a Lean World: Firm and Industry Performance in an Integrated Channel 15: Information-Integrated Channels: Public Policy Implications and Future Directions Appendix A: List of Acronyms Appendix B; The HCTAR Survey Appendix C: Data Sources Appendix D: Companies Visited or Interviewed by HCTAR Notes Subject Index Name Index Business Index

ISBN: 9780195126150
ISBN-10: 0195126157
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st June 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.4  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.72