Purpose – The European Union (EU) clothing and textile industries are characterized by very intense international competition. EU producers face fierce competition from exports of new industrialized countries whose low wages and social charges give them a considerable competitive advantage. This paper seeks to present the results of an analysis of the European textile sector competitiveness. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is based on an industrial excellence (IE) model developed by INSEAD. This model has been used for the last ten years in an annual award (IEA), given out in France and Germany. This time the model was used not for giving an award, but for assessing and analyzing the current status of industrial excellence in the textile sector. For this reason a sample of textile companies from three European countries was used and results of the analysis are presented. The textile companies that participated in the analysis were benchmarked against the technologically advanced IEA sample consisting of companies from various industries, which participated in the competition during the last three years. Findings – Key performance indicators of the textile sector are analyzed, including quality, flexibility, supply chain management, strategy formulation and strategy implementation. Significant improvement potential, especially in the areas of human resource management and knowledge management, is indicated. Research limitations/implications – Provides a methodology for employing the IE approach in their operation. Also provides a methodology for analyzing sector performance and new areas of differentiation in the European textile sector. Practical implications – The results of the analysis were used to define customized IE training in order to promote expertise in IE in textiles and improve competitiveness of the sector. Originality/value – The IEA model is used for the first time, not for giving an award, but as an IE assessment tool which can assist managers both of textile companies and intermediary bodies.
Measuring Business Excellence – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Business excellence; Textile industry; Italy; Spain; Greece
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