Globalisation and manufacturing strategy in the TCF industry

Buxey, Geoff 2005, Globalisation and manufacturing strategy in the TCF industry, International journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 100-113, doi: 10.1108/01443570510576985.

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Title Globalisation and manufacturing strategy in the TCF industry
Author(s) Buxey, Geoff
Journal name International journal of Operations & Production Management
Volume number 25
Issue number 2
Start page 100
End page 113
Publisher Emerald
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2005
ISSN 0144-3577
Keyword(s) Australia
case studies
competitive strategy
garment industry
Summary Purpose – The textiles, clothing, and footwear (TCF) industry has struggled in Australia since the government commenced dismantling tariffs. By sourcing from Asia, middlemen undercut established suppliers, and retail chains set benchmark low prices with their imported “house” labels. The policy-makers predicted that local producers would become more efficient, and export to make up for lost sales, but the media paints a picture of rising imports, retrenchments, and factory closures. The research objective was to discover what strategies the survivors (actually) employ in adapting to the pressures of globalisation.

Design/methodology/approach – More than 30 companies were involved in the study, ranging from small family businesses to subsidiaries of big multinationals. Each case study was based on an interview with a senior executive, normally followed by a plant tour. This methodology suits a fresh topic, as it avoids preconceptions and imposes no bounds.

Findings – Results show that the policy change was based on “pie in the sky” forecasts. Increasingly, TCF production is transferred to cheap offshore locations, generally via subcontracting plus the “badging” of foreign designs. To survive, local factories should focus on quality and customer service, preferably in niche markets (like uniforms), or for specific customer groups, and develop technologically advanced products. A move down the supply chain into retailing can also assist. Large multinational corporations that engage in foreign direct investment dominate the management literature.

Originality/value – This paper presents a different perspective, neglected in international operations management, whereby domestically oriented businesses attempt to defend themselves against the adverse consequences of globalisation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/01443570510576985
Field of Research 150312 Organisational Planning and Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
School of Management and Marketing
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