Managing demand and supply in Chinese fashion apparel firms: an exploratory study under the fourth industrial structural change

Ye, Y 2017, Managing demand and supply in Chinese fashion apparel firms: an exploratory study under the fourth industrial structural change, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Managing demand and supply in Chinese fashion apparel firms: an exploratory study under the fourth industrial structural change
Author(s) Ye, Y
Year 2017
Abstract The Chinese market represents one of the largest growing retail markets in the world. The new rise of e-commerce and digital technology has transformed the local commerce and retail landscape creating significant competitions and opportunities. Driving $4.84 trillion worth of sales alone in 2016, Chinese retail market is fuelled by rising demand from the large inland and regional areas, and growing purchases for high quality services and products. The fashion apparel (FA) sector, often characterised by short product lifecycles, high market volatility, low demand predictability, and a high number of impulse purchases, is one of the main retail industries in China experiencing radical transformations. Traditional FA companies have encountered a series of disruptive changes, including rising labour costs, out-dated manufacturing lines, and a chronic oversupply problem, which has led to supply chain breakdowns. Despite the challenges and uncertainties faced by the industry, research on how Chinese FA companies adapt to these changes is limited.

The present study explores how the Chinese FA companies manage and restructure their supply chain under the emerging market dynamics. As supply chain management (SCM) is still at the nascent stage of development in China, this study establishes an exploratory research, proposing a strategic SCM framework, comprised of core demand and supply process elements, and management components based on Western practice. Drawing upon the theoretical perspective of Alignment Theory, the study introduces four strategic fit types of the supply chain configurations: Make-to-forecast/Administration (A), Make-to-order/Production (P), Pack-to-order/integration (I), and Buy-to-order/Development (D). Working under the proposed SCM framework, the study applies the framework into the Chinese market context to probe how domestic FA companies have restructured their internal supply chain during the period of transformation, and whether the alignment of internal supply chain elements and components of the external market situation exists in current businesses.

The findings of this study reveal that companies capable of leveraging a new strategic fit of SCM alignment among their process elements and management components encourage a better business performance during the transformation. Key actions driving the business into a successful strategic fit configuration are identified in the findings. The findings also unveil some of the common characters residing in the Chinese economic ecosystem, and prescribe a series of practical implications in terms of formulating strategic supply chain solutions and enhancing competencies for the Chinese businesses.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Subjects Organisation and Management Theory
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)
Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Keyword(s) supply chain management
fashion apparel supply chain
demand management
China industrial structural change
Jung’s Psychological Types
strategic fit of Alignment Theory
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Created: Thu, 18 Jan 2018, 08:16:39 EST by Denise Paciocco
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