The textile and apparel industry is different from other manufacturing industries in a number of important respects
Most manufacturing systems process a large number of components into a small number of end products. Textile enterprises use a small number of raw materials to create a multitude of products.
Process complexity and variety
Textile products undergo a wide range of highly specialized processes. Production flows may branch and re-unite. Each process, from spinning to final garment making, has a unique set of production parameters: weave patterns, dye recipes, print design.
Long lead times
There are relative long lead times between purchasing raw material and delivering finished product to a customer. This creates the need for careful inventory management and forecasting.
Non-synchronized production lines
The machines in a production sequence may have very different cycle times which vary between products. Correct modeling of this process is essential to efficient management of queuing and buffer stocks.
A multitude of units
There is no clear-cut concept of a unit of product. A wide variety of handling units and groupings must be managed, from rolls and cases to pallets and sets.
The wide variety of colors and sizes for a single model requires the use of a size matrix for order entry, purchase order and production. Seasonal and collection-based production requires a unique management approach.