Complexity in sourcing and logistical problem solving

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complexity in sourcing and logistical problem solving complexity in design and product problem solving high low low high local supply chain overseas supply chain
Sourcing strategies in clothing retail firms 10 Fig. 5 - Some structural data on Coop Italia Source: author’s elaboration on Coop Italia data organizational expression of the commercial products that are predominant in the activity of the cooperative 14 . When seeking to analyze the management of the textiles-clothing sector within the overall very extensive range of this retailer and to gain insight into the sourcing dynamics, it is useful to focus on the process of definition of the objectives at the level of the national consortium. Here one finds extremely intense links not only with the referents of the individual cooperatives but also with those in charge of the points of sale. In particular, it can be noted that definition of the objectives is based on analysis of future scenarios (in terms essentially of demand, the macro-marketing environment, production/supply markets). The scenarios are then taken as the basis on which to formulate specific hypotheses of growth, maintenance or shrinking of sales; such hypotheses are, in turn, necessary to define the target objectives of the national consortium and the individual cooperatives. As regards the textiles-apparel section, for example, the analysis focuses on such aspects as the overall trend of the apparel market, the main textile product innovations, the dynamics of the distribution structure, in order to formulate a profitability target that can be achieved by adopting a series of concrete policies: eg. range extension, rationalization of the stock of suppliers, reduction of purchasing costs, change in pricing policies. These objectives defined at a general level are then further analyzed in the light of the type of competition faced by individual cooperatives in each area, making use of information obtained by involving a staff of referents in the structure of the overall top management. Such referents come partly from the Hyper and Super Management Teams (General Manager but also category managers), where they are responsible for interfacing with the sales outlets; therefore in 14 With reference to 2002, 57.0% of total sales was accounted for by supermarkets/superettes, 39.1% by hypermarkets and only 3.9% by discount outlets. On the concept of commercial product utilized here, readers are referred to the numerous contributions available in the literature [Lugli and Pellegrini 2002, Dupuis 2002]. such cases the information they convey is mainly concerned with demand seen from a sales marketing perspective [ demand side ]. Other referents come from the Purchasing Management, in which case they convey information and aspirations coming from the (effective or potential) upstream relations in the supply chain, which reflect a purchasing marketing perspective [ supply side ] 15 .

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