THE INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE
FOR THE 21ST CENTURY APPAREL ENTERPRISE:
CUSTOMER-FOCUSED MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTION
Teresa Lynn Langston
The primary objective of this research was to utilize the Apparel Manufacturing Architecture (AMA) building blocks to design, develop and implement an information system for the 21st century apparel enterprise engaged in producing both customized and stock order goods. Enhancements were made to the AMA structure in order to capture the increasingly important business practice of mass customization. The resulting information system has been successfully implemented and tested at two apparel manufacturing facilities, thus providing each organization with a better means of managing its information needs. The initial system facilitates the process of ordering, traking, and shipping, in an apparel enterprise while focusing particularly on the practice of mass customization.
Analysis and evaluations have shown that the development of the information system based on the AMA building blocks is both cost and time-effective. Moreover, implementations of the system at multiple locations have proven that the building blocks facilitate modular and flexible system development that requires minimal customization efforts. Finally, the AMA is a comprehensive, solid, reliable, and generic architecture that can be easily enhanced to keep pace with the growing and changing needs of an apparel enterprise. Thus, the foundation for the development of the information infrastructure for the 21st century apparel enterprise has been laid.