General Jeans (GJ) is a well-established, market leader, with the world's largest manufacturing capabilities. It is currently in a state of flux, the changing business environment and consumer requirements have made it necessary to adopt an innovative approach, they can no longer rely solely on their existing products and markets. "If a new venture does not anticipate (changing requirements) organising itself to take advantage of the unexpected and unseen markets, it is not totally market focused, if not market - driven, then it will succeed only in creating an opportunity for a competitor". (Drucker 1986: 213)
Changes in the 60's pop culture impacted upon designs and manufacturing, GJ are re - structuring to meet these changes. Jeans are not only worn for their practicality, but are also a fashion item, as exemplified by Levi who located a store on Fifth Avenue. Continuous improvement and efficiency are threshold competencies, necessary to compete within this market.
"The world - class manufacturer today is applying manufacturing concepts designed to demolish the obsolete methods, systems and cultures of the past that have impeded its competitive progress". (Voss 1992:137)
EVALUATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SUBCONTRACTORS
During the 60's small manufacturers capitalised on rapidly changing trends, by continual design changes and pattern renewal. This posed a major problem for the larger manufacturer, who found it difficult to keep pace with this dynamic market. Traditionally, manufacturers favoured long production runs, as it..."gave a steady target of cost reduction due to experience curve benefits". (Toone 1994:42) Consumer expectations forced many manufacturers out of business, causing the proliferation of subcontractors. De Sanctis and Fulk (1999:422) describe a 'new' organisational structure, relying on subcontracting and entrepreneurship. GJ has approximately 20 entrepreneurial subcontractors, producing one third of their merchandise.
Successful supply chain management can determine organisational achievement, causing radical...