Performance Measurement in UK textile & clothing manufacturing SMEs: Regaining the initiative

Cooper, Sharp (2005) Performance Measurement in UK textile & clothing manufacturing SMEs: Regaining the initiative. In: Stimulating Manufacturing Excellence in Small and Medium Enterprises, SMESME 2005, 2005, Glasgow, Scotland.

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There is no dispute that forward thinking and innovative SMEs are central to modern economies. However, most SMEs suffer from resource constraints and management weaknesses. Policy makers and business organisations have tried to correct these imbalances mainly through fiscal measures. In general, these measures have not been a great success,either in their ability to attract large numbers of SMEs or to promote new sustainable and
innovative SMEs. This limited success is often due to failure to identify and meet the needs of SME’s. The difference between organisational success and failure is often in performance measurement and benchmarking practices. Performance measures are vital to assess the
health of an organisation, support managers in their decision making processes, and provide focused direction for operations. They allow an organisation to express its strategic intent and demonstrate how that strategy connects with everyday operations, and thus enabling
organisational systems to create essential feedback and learning mechanism to support overall organisational goals and sustainable growth in the face of current business pressures of globalisation and profitability.

Meaningful and effective performance measurement begins with strategic planning, linked to the periodic planning process of performance reviews and best practice (benchmark) implementation. This concept is well appreciated in larger organisation, unlike in SMEs,
particularly those in the textile and clothing manufacturing sector. A number of factors must be
responsible for the limited or lack of uptake of performance measurement and benchmarking for positioning for competitive advantage gain in this sector. To explore some of these factors, research findings from an examination of ten case study companies in the North West of England is presented.

To explore these factors, research findings from an examination of ten case study companies in the North West of England is presented. The first part of this paper presents the call for review and application of performance measurement in the SMEs sector, particularly those in the UK textile and clothing supply chain. The second part, investigates the significance of the sector in the UK economy, and the third part presents the results from ten case studies carried out analysing business performance in a number of processes including; operations, investments levels and skills and examine some of the issues surrounding performance measurement, and benchmarking, within the manufacturing textile and clothing SMEs in the UK North West. These results suggest that such issues of owner managers ability to adopt and adapt deductive responses to business challenges instead of the current inductive responses which has resulted
in their inability to compete against foreign imports needs to be addressed in order for manufacturing companies, particularly those in the textile and clothing sector, to regain the competitive initiative to face global pressures and grow.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Competitiveness, growth, Performance Measurement, Supply chain Management, SME
Subjects: Business and Management > Business and Management
Education > Higher Education
Business and Management > International Business
Business and Management > Management (general)
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Business and Management
International Centre for Research in Innovation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship
Depositing User: Sharp Cooper
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 10:19
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 08:19

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