Page 1: Introduction
Many of the goods we use in our everyday lives are based on “threads.” For example, the room in which you are sitting whilst reading this may have a carpet and curtains. Without doubt the people surrounding you will be wearing a variety of clothes – some of which will be exotic and original, others will be more conformist. A large assortment of fibres and filaments that form the raw materials of threads are to be found in general use in consumer and industrial textile fabrics and other materials.
This case study focuses on how Coats Viyella Thread Division has achieved success in a dynamic global market environment which has experienced considerable changes in recent time. Coats provides a variety of top quality threads to meet the needs of local customers throughout the world. It has an unrivalled network of international resources, experience and expertise. With companies located in over 60 different countries, Coats is a truly global thread supplier.
A powerful production base allows the company to pass on considerable economies of scale. As the garment industry becomes increasingly global, Coats has been able to apply successful technical and marketing expertise gained in one market to meet the growing requirements in another. As the waves of fashion ebb and flow around the world, Coats has been able to identify the coming trends at an earlier point in time.
A dynamic industry
Very few organisations operate in a static situation. Today we live in a global marketplace for goods and services, in which technology, purchasing power and tastes are changing all the time. In the past the textile industry was criticised for being manufacturing-led. For the larger organisations in the industry there had been strong consumer demand and emphasis was placed upon structured work and output. Today this is not the case. Organisations like Coats need a high degree of flexibility at all functional levels in order to:
- look outwards to respond to changes in markets, business conditions and competition.
- look inwards to develop the organisation so that it can continually meet changing customer needs.
The textile and clothing industry is one of the most dynamic in the UK today. While some sections of this industry have gone into decline, other areas have flourished. Today the textile industry employs over 400,000 people in the UK, which is substantially more than agriculture and in the first half of the 1990s the textile industry had a better export performance in terms of growth than the food industry, chemical industry and even the automobile industry.
The level of product innovation in the Textiles and Clothing Industry is second to none. How many other industries would be really comfortable with the knowledge that the vast majority of their product range changes twice a year and increasingly, more than twice a year? Textiles and clothing therefore need to provide dynamic responses in a constantly changing business environment.