An Empirical Investigation of Apparel Production Systems and Product Line Groups through the Use of Collar Designs

Doris H. Kincade, Jihyun "J" Kim, Kalavagunta S Kanakadurga


To evaluate the right choice in production systems, apparel manufacturers, and other companies seeking production of apparel products, need input on the potential for which system can deliver the right product line to meet customer demands. This research investigates three apparel production systems (i.e., bundle, progressive bundle, modular) and five system attributes (i.e., retrieval, workflow, WPI, task per operator, interaction) within a specific product context. A questionnaire, mailed to U.S. apparel manufacturers, collected quantitative data about the three production systems, the attributes and the products manufactured on the systems. The three production systems identified in the study were effectively operationalized in the data by the five attributes. Collar designs were successfully used to represent product line groups ranging from staple to high fashion. The comparison of production systems to a specific product line group resulted in mixed findings, some in contrast to traditional assumptions, indicating a need for further investigation.

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