CASE STUDY #2:
Polo Ralph Lauren & Luen Thai
iMBA 792, International Business Trip
March 2, 2014
1. Main issues in the case
The fundamental issue from this case was about a supply chain management strategy between partner companies. All three entities, Polo Ralph Lauren, Luen Thai, and Ruentex, needed an efficient supply chain management strategy, which is more of a form of “horizontal” collaboration that can differentiate themselves from other apparel manufacturers after textile quotas were lifted. They were in need of sharing “real time data” in order to manufacture and retail the product more efficiently and effectively. Polo Ralph Lauren suggested the idea of utilizing a “design-to-store (D2S)” strategy in order for these three companies to work more collectively by tightening their supply chain systems together. There was no real time data exchanged between the entities.
This fundamental issue brought the companies several noticeable challenges. Integrating three different systems from three different types of companies were not an easy process. It was inevitable for the companies to come up with ideas to overcome the obstacles such as sharing real-time data. Different levels of technologies as well as IT infrastructures between the companies were also a big issue, which was also linked to implementation issues. Due to the complexity of designs, much smoother communication was needed as well as importance of patents and intellectual property related issues had to be discussed. To be more collective and be “tightened”, collaboration through information technology was no longer an option for them, but a “must” to survive.
2. What do we mean by “Supply Chain”? Discuss the collaborative supply chain issues between three partners.
A supply chain is the network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities and...