The Role of Logistics Competences in the Fashion Business

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The relevance of manufacturing and logistics management in fashion companies has strongly increased in the last years due to the higher and higher demand inpredictability, which results in high holding costs, stock-outs and mark-downs. As a consequence, fashion companies that compete in the mass market, where margins are rather low, are striving to increase their efficiency in order to preserve good levels of profitability and, consequently, are promoting projects aimed at improving their logistics performances. On the opposite, companies involved in the prêt a porter segment seem not to suffer from such problems, thanks to their definitely high price levels that still hedge them from the negative impacts of demand incredictability. However, there is a third category of fahion companies that operate in an intermediate segment, called bridge, where, although prices are definitely lower than in the prêt a porter segment, the need for improving efficiency and effectiveness of the logistic process, from procurement to delivery, seems not to be perceived by the management. This study aims at understanding why such companies hardly implement the principles of supply chain management, even though logistics performances are key drivers for the profitability of these firms, and discusses the hypothesis according to which the main cause of this behaviour lies in a poor understanding of the competences necessary to fulfill logistics activities. In the remainder of this paper a brief analysis of the literature about supply chain management in fashion companies and about the competence theory is presented. Then, a qualitative study is proposed, which discusses a case-study developed in an Italian bridge company that have coped with the above mentioned problems. Then, the main conclusions are drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSupply Chain Management – European Perspectives
EditorsRenè de Koster, Werner Delfmann
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • case-study
  • competence
  • fashion industry
  • logistics


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