Strategies for Mitigating Supply-Side Barriers in the Apparel Supply Chain: A Study on the Apparel Industry of Bangladesh

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Journal Article
Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, 2018, 19 pp. 41 - 52
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© 2018, Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management. With the increasingly complex business environment, supply chain managers are required to mitigate both upstream (supply-side) and downstream (demand-side) barriers in order to remain competitive. Failure to address both supply- and demand-side barriers carries far reaching consequences which can have a significant impact on the performance of the whole supply chain. While a substantial number of studies have been undertaken on supply chain barriers to performance, research on prioritizing supply-side barriers to select best mitigation strategies is rare, especially in the context of sourcing from low-cost countries. Hence, the objective of this research is to identify the supply-side barriers and the corresponding mitigation strategies in the context of the apparel industry in Bangladesh by applying an analytical hierarchy process and quality function deployment method. This study finds that long lead time, interruption in utility supply as well as on-time supply problems are the most prioritized supply-side barriers. In order to address these barriers, the most important strategies are efficiency in planning, quick response and commitment for meeting on-time delivery. The implications of findings of the research are also discussed.
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