Albrecht, Donna M.J. (1989, ASQC) University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI
The apparel industry is undergoing rapid changes. It has had to. Large quantities plus the potential threat of even greater quantities of apparel imports from low wages countries to the U.S. has caused great alarm to these industries. For years, many apparel manufacturers have not invested profits into research and development or even in purchasing state-of-the-art technologies. For years, management in apparel manufacturing has not invested money or time in working with factory employees (the backbone of apparel manufacturing) except on a limited productivity basis.
Those days and that time is of the past. Surviving apparel manufacturers have learned that they must continue to improve to be a part of the future -- to be here in the '90's. After reviewing current technologies and systems, purchasing considerations need to be based upon whether that company wants/should be here in the 90's as opposed to looking at traditional cost justifications.
Therefore, these are exciting times for apparel manufacturers. Lots of relatively new equipment specific to apparel manufacturing has appeared, particularly in the last ten years, and the emphasis or push is for more to come. Key buzz words at conferences include CAD/CAM, Just-in-Time, Quick Response, UPS [unit production system], MRP II [manufacturing resource planning].
How have these new interfaces and import challenges affected the apparel industry? The good news is, indeed, the quality of clothing from U.S. apparel manufacturers is continuing to improve. These manufacturers are meeting the challenges for the 90's. These manufacturers are continuing to improve.
The effect specific technologies have had on improving the quality of clothing will be discussed. Quality concerns will include the design, fit and manufacturing as well as merchandising of clothing. In general, how the quality of clothing is being improved via the various technologies will be brought to light via lecture with slides showing the technology and the resulting changes in the standards of garments. Specific attention will be paid to computer-aided design systems as that is the most well accepted advanced technology by a large number of firms worldwide.
Competitiveness,Textile and needle trades