Textile Supply Chain has been highly influenced by four important features of Information Technology; these features are: Information integration, Planning synchronisation, Workflow coordination and new business models. It is also come across that these IT applications facilitate the execution of several theories of supply chain management, like constant refilling, vendor administered refilling, planned postponement etc.
Taken in order, the first three stages stand for PERFORMANCE FABRIC ascending degrees of harmony and balanced interaction among supply chain members ending up into completely new techniques of organising business in the fourth phase.
Sharing of Information
Information makes mention of the sharing among members of the supply chain. This takes in any type of information that could affect the actions and performance of other members of the supply chain. This method generally transfers demand data, inventory status, capacity plans, production schedules, promotion plans, electronic fund transfers (EFT) for payments, status reports and shipment schedules.
Bar coding and Electronic data interchange (EDI) are the main information providing in this phase. Bar coding allows all-inclusive recording of business data in electronic frame. In turn, this data is transferred electronically from computer to computer among organisations, in a standardised layout through EDI system. Consequently, the communicated data are counted, tracked, analysed, and applied by computers to transform into relevant information for decisions. EDI specifically substitutes more traditional transfer of documents such as mail, telephone and even fax. Speedy transmission is possible through EDI-reduced order cycle variability, one of the major agents, which accelerates inventory in the supply chain.
Naygard International, a global apparel producer of US, with sales surpassing $ 300 million, copes with its supplies from fabric suppliers to retailer using EDI-built links triggered throughout its network. This EDI-built network helps the company in maintaining closer relations and immediate reaction in a global, fluctuating demand and supply atmosphere with its suppliers and customers, who are geographically spread from US, Korea, Japan, Europe and Indonesia. The company inserts inventory-data in electronic form through bar coding and transfer these ‘digitised information’ across its global network through EDI.
To connect design affiliated information with supplier through Internet linkages is another instance of information integration. Standardisation of software devices and the fast dropping costs of servers allow the smaller manufacturer and retailer to share latest designs evolved through CAD/CAM packages with the fabric manufacturers established in other parts of the world. Product design and manufacturing data can be transferred through the Internet to a distant factory so that manufacturing might take place.