How May Fashion Retailers Incorporate Lean Management in their Supply Chains? - A Case Study of the Current Supply Chain of a Small and Medium-sized Fashion Retailer and Suggestion of a Framework for Future Lean Implementation in Supply Chain Management
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This thesis attempts to provide a framework for how lean management methods could be incorporated in the supply chains of fashion retailers by reviewing relevant literature, development of a theoretical framework and conducting a case study of one of the biggest multi-brand fashion stores in Trondheim, Norway. Very limited research of lean supply chain within fashion industry context has been conducted. It will be useful to look at lean supply chain from the perspective of fashion retailers, as this type of research provides a fundamental framework for fashion retailers in order to adapt lean methods to more efficiently manage their supply chains. As a multi-brand fashion retailer, the case company do not do production of products by themselves and do not own any fashion brands either. The company is only focusing on their retailing operation. Knowledge of both fashion retailing and lean supply chain is required to provide a valuable framework for future lean implementation. The first part of the thesis is a literature study that focus on theory of different aspects regarding lean supply chain and fashion retailing industry, in order to get an insight in both knowledge areas. A theoretical foundation has been presented and a theoretical framework was then suggested for analysis of the current state of fashion retailers supply chains.The supply chain of the case company is described in detail in order to show how the supply chains of fashion retailers work today and provide data for mapping value stream map of current state (AS-IS). Analysis and evaluation of different lean management methods in the light of the characteristics of fashion retailing industry was done based on the AS-IS value stream map. In the end of the thesis, a modified framework of how fashion retailers which currently are not lean could incorporate lean management methods is suggested.