Alper Sen •
Department of Industrial Engineering Bilkent University Bilkent, Ankara 06800, Turkey email@example.com • Apparel industry has short product life cycles, tremendous product variety, volatile and unpredictable demand, and long and inﬂexible supply processes. These characteristics, a complex supply chain and wide availability of data make the industry a suitable avenue for eﬃcient supply chain management practices. The industry has also been in a transition over the last 20 years: signiﬁcant consolidation in retail, majority of apparel manufacturing operations moving overseas, and more recently, increasing use of electronic commerce in retail and wholesale trade. This paper aims to review the current state of operations and recent trends across the apparel supply chain in the U.S. We use industry wide data, articles from business journals, industry reviews, and extensive interviews with an apparel manufacturer in California, and a major U.S. department store chain to describe the current operational practices and how the industry is restructuring itself during the transition, focusing at the apparel manufacture and retail segments of the supply chain.
Apparel industry is characterized by short product life cycles, volatile and unpredictable demand, tremendous product variety, and long and inﬂexible supply processes. These characteristics and a complex supply chain make apparel industry a prime candidate that eﬃcient supply chain management practices can make a diﬀerence. Despite the potential and availability of enormous amount of data enabled by information technologies, we see that the industry has been neglected in terms of supply chain management research and practice. The main objective of this paper is to review the operations and identify major supply chain issues in the apparel industry in order to provide a background for researchers, educators and practitioners.... [continues]
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