Analyzing the dynamics and importance of Global Supply Chain Management in Fashion Industry of UK

A Case study of Pepe Jeans


1.1 Background

Supply Chain Management (SCM) basically deals with the process of linking the organization within the distribution chain for meeting demand across the globe as effectively as possible (Arndt, 2006). It is important for an organization in order to gain efficiencies from procurement, logistics and distribution. In addition to this, SCM is also significant in meeting competitive pressures. With the evolution of fashion industry at international level, scope of supply chain has also extended as it is not only confined to domestic level but extends to world economies at global level (Jacobs and Chase, 2010). Fashion industry in UK is one of the most vibrant and creative sectors in the economy which contributes significant amount in the GDP of the country. According to latest facts and figures British fashion industry worth £26 billion. In past researches, many statisticians and economists have experienced in valuing the creative industry. In addition to this, UK’s fashion industry has obtained support of a wide range of organizations across all the sectors.

Undoubtedly, like most of the industries, British fashion industry in UK is also facing certain challenges including the need to fill the gap in business skills, overcoming recession phase in the economy and other issues related to global competition and sustainability. All such problems are directly or indirectly related to supply chain effectiveness. As fashion industry of Great Britain is dynamic and it is market and brand driven with wide variation in customer preferences and attitude. Thus, in order to redress the above cited issues this study has been carried out taking a case study of leading fashion brand ‘Pepe Jeans.

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Pepe Jeans, a privately owned company in UK is considered for this research because it has adopted sophisticated SCM process as it is one of larger denim retailers in UK which has expanded its business worldwide (Thomas and Griffin, 1996). However, recently some issues have been witnessed by management in supply chain management as retailers are also unhappy with Pepe’s requirement. Key issues faced by the company are associated with effectiveness of distribution strategy. Inability to meet unexpected demand, dynamic fashion trends and unimpressive retailer and distribution policy such as limited returns and exchange are the major concerns for Pepe Jeans presently (Kharmawphlang, Nonglait and Rynjah, 2006).  Main objective of this study is to analyze the dynamics and importance of supply chain management in fashion industry so that industry can be strengthened by useful suggestions. In this manuscript, extensive literature review has been undertaken to understand the concept of supply chain management and its role on British fashion industry. In addition to this, analysis of collected data has been made in order to reach desired outcomes (Bruce, Daly and Towers, 2004).

1.2 Rationale

Each and every research is carried out with pre determined objectives because it inherently involves time, cost and labor efforts. Therefore, the reasons of the study should be grounded in reality so that they could be justified. A rationale statement seeks to justify the selection of titles and various decisions taken for the study so that its significance can be predicted. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a major concern for firms operating in fashion industries. As SCM deals with integration of production line with raw material manufacturers, intermediaries and end product manufacturers therefore, its significance increases for fashion industry which is globalized (Lambert, Cooper and Pagh, 1998).

1.3 Problem statement

A problem statement entails that what is the actual problem will be addressed in this research and how such problem is resolved. Here, in this research the main problem is to study the complex supply chain management approach adopted by Pepe Jeans. It is a difficult task to review and analyze supply chain from perspective of customers, company and its suppliers. This issue is addressed in this study by adopting a rational approach in which systematic methodology has been drawn to review and analyze the case of Pepe Jeans.  

1.4 Research aims and objectives

Aims and objectives of a dissertation should be clearly designed because they assist in framing appropriate design and methodology for the study. The ultimate goal at which researcher desires to reach by undertaking research is known as aim. Objectives on the other hand set the boundaries of manuscript which is essential to hold the focus of researcher around aim. Thus, objectives can be defined as supportive statements that help in reaching the goal of the study (Clark, 2006). Aims and objectives for this study are based on the problem statement described in the above section of this chapter. Key aims and objectives of this study are stated under the following heads:


To analyze the dynamics and importance of Global Supply Chain Management in Fashion Industry of UK: A Case study of Pepe Jeans


  • To review different supply chain management models used in fashion industry for distributing goods at global level
  • To analyze the supply chain management process adopted by Pepe Jeans, UK
  • To identify challenges faced by Pepe jeans in global supply chain management process
  • To make recommendations for Pepe Jeans for bringing improvements in complex SCM in order to enhance sales and profitability

Research questions

Research questions are interrogative statements which are based on objectives and answering to same can assist in reaching the desired objectives. In this section, both primary and secondary questions are listed by prioritizing the questions of utmost importance.

Primary question

1.What challenges are faced by Pepe jeans in global supply chain management process?

Secondary questions

2.How the fashion industry in UK has developed in the area of supply chain modeling for distributing goods at global level over a period of time?
3.What are pros and cons of the global supply chain management process adopted by Pepe Jeans, UK?
4.How Pepe Jeans can improve its complex SCM in order to enhance sales and profitability?

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1.5 Methodological framework

Providing the information regarding the methodological aspects used in the dissertation in the beginning chapter is a smart idea because it assists readers in understanding the way in which study has been completed. In order to reach objectives of this study, interpretivism philosophy has been used as it considers the difference in humans as social actors. In addition to this, an inductive approach has been employed in this manuscript as it seeks to infer generalized results that could be applied to entire British fashion industry (Goddard and Melville, 2004).
Both qualitative and quantitative methods have been adopted in which qualitative method is the one which seeks to examine underlying reasons whereas quantitative method quantifies the data. The data has been gathered from both primary and secondary sources (Creswell, 2013). The primary data has been collected from top/middle level officials of Pepe Jeans who are involved in supply and distribution strategies. Secondary data on the other hand, was collected from books, journals, online articles and other resources (Jonker and Pennink, 2010). The data collected has been analyzed by using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Of these two methods, primary data has been collected through quantitative approach whereas secondary data was analyzed by qualitative approach in this manuscript.

1.6 Significance of the study

It is important to state the significance of a research that has been carried out so that targeted audience can understand the scope and applicability of study. Among various parties which have been targeted, Pepe Jeans is the major party because a case of this organization has been taken to infer fruit bearing findings. This study is significant for Pepe Jeans because by studying the dynamics of SCM and its pros and cons, fruitful recommendations can be given to this organization so that the issue related to supply chain management which is currently witnessed by this organization has been addressed. Thus, Pepe Jeans has been suggested some changes in SCM approach to meet such problem. In addition to this, similar firms can also use this study to develop appropriate strategies (Arndt, 2006).

1.7 Structure of dissertation

In this section, the structure of this manuscript has been provided so that readers can understand content of the dissertation for each chapter in brief. The structure has been described in the introductory part of the study so that targeted audience can direct refer to the chapter in which they are interested. A standard structure has been adopted for this study and therefore, this manuscript is comprised of five major chapters, description of which is given under the following heads:

Chapter-1: Introduction

This is the first chapter of this manuscript which creates background to generate interest in targeted audience as it provides basic information regarding the topic and case selected for the research. In this chapter, the issue of this study has been discussed after informative introduction and description of research title. In addition to this, rational behind selection of this study is also given so that significance of the study can be predicted. Readers can also gain brief knowledge regarding methodology used for carrying out the study in this chapter. At last but not the least, it includes aims and objectives of the study which are important elements of any research study (Zuber-Skerritt and Perry, 2002).

Chapter-2: Literature review

Literature review chapter contains most informative content of any study because it includes definitions of main concepts and description of variables used in the research. This chapter includes detailed information regarding the concept and aspects of Supply Chain Management. Various books, journals and online articles have been used to create better understanding of the concept of supply chain management. In addition to this, it also develops theoretical and conceptual base for readers as previous studies are reviewed and critically analyzed so that insightful information can be created.

Chapter-3: Research methodology

It is essential chapter because this includes most of the technical part of the dissertation to complete the research. Remaining chapters, data analysis and conclusion are based on this part of the study. From the perspective of future researcher, this chapter is most essential because they can understand the type of methodology and design used in the dissertation and further requirements of methodology in future researches (Glatthorn and, 2005). Thus, this section provides detailed information regarding selection of different approaches, philosophies, data collection and sampling techniques. Moreover, this chapter also covers justification of the same.

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2.1 Introduction     

This section of the report is very significant, as it helps the readers to gain proper learning and knowledge about the research subject. Under this section, researcher analyses the contributions made by previous researchers towards the issue.  The chapter is very crucial and carries huge impact on the results and findings of research. All research objectives will be attained  by literature review section. It will show the application of different models and theories which can help in generating some valuable outcomes for the research. Literature review is designed to provide an overview of sources which have been explored while investigating a specific subject. The purpose of this section is to place each work in the relation of its contribution to understand the research issue being studied. It discovers new methods of interpreting prior research and describes the relationship of each work to the others under consideration. Apart from that it tries ti identify any type of gaps that exist in the literature. It points towards a direction in which a need for additional research can be raised.  

2.2 Supply Chain Management in Fashion Industry    

Supply chain management is operational activities of apparel industries, which has significant role in maximizing the efficiency and speed of sales of product. Readymade apparels in UK is rocketing everyday and Textile industry need to supply their products in right time as quick as possible for which sometimes they need to agile their SCM channel (Purvis et. al., 2013). Experts of SCM field states that global supply chain is more complex and difficult to manage than that of local supply chain and less dynamic (Wood et al., 2002). Rapid growth of street vendor of clothing has created more challenge and competition in case of price of cloths and UK garment industries are more focusing on reducing the labour cost and interested in outsourcing the low cost labor and that is also mainly through global outsourcing (Jackson and Shaw, 2001; Bruce and et al., 2004). If SCM of textile industries take more lead time their competitive advantage might degrade within no time. Dynamism is way to change to add and remove the SCM process as per the need of the market demand of cloth of company but sometimes in quest of outsourcing the lower labour cost might harm because of unstable foreign exchange rate, and labour act low, which turns out to be harmful for SCM of fashionable cloth manufacturing industry (Christhopher and et al., 2004).     

Fashionable cloth manufacturing companies need to operate and rely on the both local and global sources of supply which gives flexibility in supply chain to meet the market demand in right time without lagging much time in distribution and procurement (Masson and et al., 2007). But sometimes this might lead to the complex network of SCM, which has direct impact on the speed approach to the market. Jin (2004) put forward his statement that in the in the lean retailing world, the ability to meet the customers demand has become the critical factors in maintaining the competitive advantage. Lean retailing clothing manufacturers which adopt the global outsourcing strategy generally face the dilemma of balancing the cost benefit advantage with that of agile benefits (Jin, 2004).  

2.3 Models  and theories of supply chain management   

Integrated Make to Stock Model  

The integrated make to stock supply chain model focuses on tracing the demands of customers. It  is done with the purpose of restocking the finished goods inventory in efficient manner (Bååth, 2008). This coordination is achieved through an fully integrated information system. Implementation of this system helps in gaining real time demand information which can be useful in establishing and modifying plans and schedules related to production. This information is also integrated further down the supply chain to the procurement activity so that the altered manufacturing plans and schedules can be supported by input materials (Elizondo-Arroyave, 2013). The system also performs activities of distribution planning, inventory control and manufacturing scheduling. The integration of supply with multiple distribution channels needs timely and accurate data flow related to demand, storage capacity, inventories, transportation scheduling etc  (Giunipero, 2009).  

On the critical note Bruce, Dal and Towers (2004), stated that integrated make to stock model suffers from some limitations also. It is discussed that  integration of supply with multiple distribution channels needs timely and accurate information related to demand, storage capacity, transportation etc. This condition is to be fulfilled effectively otherwise integration process can get hampered it means there must be supply of correct and accurate information. Information systems are critical in performing all the above activities within reasonable costs and maximum effectiveness

Build to order model 

According to Halley and Beaulieu, (2009), Under this model the company starts assembly of order almost immediately upon the receipt of the order. This model needs cautious management of inventories and delivery of required inputs along the supply chain. This inventory issue can be minimized by utilizing many common elements across several production lines and in several locations. One of the major advantage of such type of supply chain model is the perception that each of the customer is getting a personalized product. With addition to that customer is receiving it rapidly (Giunipero, 2009). This type of supply chain model provide support to the concept of mass customization.      

On the critical note, Coyle and, (2008), stated that under build to order model, companies do not have a ready supply of inventory to sell. Orders are taken by through phone, websites etc, despite of having stores filled with inventory. Because of this customers does not get the chance to go into a store and purchase something. This might result in losses for firms and a negative impact on profitability.  

Continuous replenishment  model     

The motive of using Continuous replenishment  model is to work constantly on replenishing the inventory through working in close integration with suppliers or intermediaries. Although the cost may be too higher in case if the replenishment process also involves many shipments. It may cause the supply chain to collapse (Rhee and Mehra, 2006). Hence a very tight integration is required between process of order-fulfillment and production. Here a real time information about demand changes is needed so that production process can maintain required replenishment schedules and levels (Sarkis, 2012). This model is mostly applied into the environment which requires stable demand patterns. The model also needs intermediaries in case if large systems are involved.     

On the critical note Halle and Beaulieu, (2009) stated that this model can also lead to shortage of stocks of stock or excess of inventory. At short notice it is difficult for the company to meet the drastic change in demand. Sudden rise in demand can give disturbance in the production process and also leads to wastage. There can be delay in delivery activities of stocks. 


Agency Theory

It is a theory that involves relationship between two parties in which one is principal and other is an agent that reflects the principal while making transaction with third party. Zu, X. and Kaynak, (2012) stated that principal commonly aids in delegating the authority of decision making to agents. In this regard, company hires agent in order to take decision for procurement of goods and ensuring that final goods reaches in the market on time. However, study of Wantao and Ramanathan, (2012), found that relying on one generic supply chain quality management approach for each and every supplier is not effectual and therefore company needs to engage different approaches for different suppliers helps in managing the supply management. However, approaches can be applied by considering salient attributes of suppliers and its relationship with the company. In this context, author has identified five types of agency factors i.e. information asymmetry, risk aversion, period of relationship, task characteristics and goal conflict (Anderson, 2011). With the help of it, company can able to develop sound and effectual supply chain management through which operational objectives gets assessed.   

However, it is been argued by Dickersbach, (2009), that there are various loopholes while practicing agency theory from which overall operational efficiency can be affected. In this regard, conflict between agency and owner is one of the major problems that can affect whole purpose and also make adverse impact over business operation. In this regard, Elizondo-Arroyave, (2013), stated that making proper contract is one of the option to get rid of this issue but it certainly leads to legal complication in case of void of any clauses. Beside this, difference in quality and nature of service or products is another set of problems that been faced by company. From this, overall efficiency of the company gets hampered and also ultimate purpose doesn’t get fulfilled. Hence, it is required to review various loopholes of the theory before implementing it so that optimum outcome can be attained.  

Strategic Choice Theory    

This theory focuses on decision making activity within an organization in order to ensure that ultimate objectives gets attained through it. Stadtler, (2004), stated that this theory helps in boosting the effectiveness of supply chain management by making necessary adjustment. This is one of the key theory in supply chain field due to following reasons:

  • Direct and indirect impact of the supply chain decision over the profitability and stock prices.
  • Adapting organizational supply chain tactics to life cycle of organization.  
  • Supply chain tactics supports in developing several other organizational strategies.

Moreover, Tang, (2011), stated that this theory possess limitation of confining till governance framework and political forces in the decision making activity. However, Sarkis (2012), stated that it is one of the appropriate theory for supply chain as it helps in selecting the best option for company. With this, overall efficiency of the firm can be increased. With the help of it, company can able to gain agility and adaptability through which operational outcome gets increased. In addition to it, this approach aids in evaluating options on different criteria through which most likely decisions can be made.     

This aids in attaining the objectives and also supports in saving cost up to great extent. However Ivanov and Sokolov (2009), stated that it is required to take suggestions and advice from expertise while making decisions so that effectual results can be attained through it. With the help of it, company can able to boost its competency and also able to make optimum utilization of their resources. Jacobs and Chase, (2010), commented on this theory that it is highly time consuming approach because company needs to take suggestion from different experts in order to take decisions. Therefore, it is not best fit when it is required to make urgent decisions.  

Institutional theory    

This theory aids in ascertaining the structure both formal and informal of the society, environment and policy. This theory has generally developed from traditional day to modern practice where it emerged as an open system. In this regard, Rhee and Mehra, (2006) commentated that institutional theory aims that supply chain management must pursue two main objectives i.e. reviewing the business environment for identifying collaborative opportunities and recognizing the best practice in the industry so that same can be applied for the purpose of boosting operational efficiency. 

By focusing these two objectives, company is able to develop a holistic approach through which operational efficiency can be increased. It also aids in identifying the weakness which best replace by developing appropriate strategy. In this context, Masson, Purvis and MacKerron (2007), stated that reviewing business environment supports in forecasting the situation and recognizing best practice in industry helps in planning future course of action. However, it requires assessing each and every aspects business environment which is one of the time consuming activity. Purvis, Naim and Towill, (2013), stated that it essentially helps in developing effectual strategy by reviewing various option through which ultimate purpose gets attained. However, it has been argued on the grounds that business environment is highly dynamic in nature and therefore strategy developed on the basis of it doesn’t last for long. With this, it is required to incorporate necessary changes on regular basis so that effectual results can be attained. Hence, it can be state that institutional theory plays a magnificent role in developing organizational strategies in respect to supply chain management. 

Transaction Cost Analysis    

Ivanov and Sokolov, (2009) stated that transaction cost analysis is a practice that supports in assessing the cost associated to different activities. With the help of it, company is able to make decision whether to buy or make through this theory and hence is able to save considerable amount of cost and time as well. This theory argues that varied set of control measures and governance techniques is need to apply so that obstacles of supply chain can be removed. This helps in boosting the efficiency of the company and hence helps in managing business activities appropriately.  

2.4 Challenges faced by the company in terms of global supply chain management     

Doing business at the global level comes with different types of challenges for an organization. These challenges can be in term of different aspects. It is evident that global market is a huge market and involves many complications. Supply chains of the companies are growing in complexities due to several factors (Coyle and, 2008). The customers are demanding for innovative products at the right time and at reasonable prices. Hence this results in many challenges for the business because establishing responsive as well as cost effective supply chain is critically difficult (Delfmann, 2007).  Supply chain management at global level can face many issues and these can be discussed as follows:

Supply Chain Volatility and uncertainty have increased permanently

High transparency and price sensitivity in the market have lead to lower the customer loyalty (Dickersbach,  2009). Commoditization in products reduces true differentiation in both consumer and business to business environments. Increasing volatility is a major problems. Demand & supply volatility and poor forecast are considered to be the biggest supply chain barriers faced by the firms. The increased commoditization of products is to be considered highly by the companies (Bååth, 2008). Demand volatility is highly associated with the recession. Business to business customer demand can go higher or low down rapidly with the rising ability and willingness of customers to identify alternative supply sources. Operating costs are rising day by day due to rising prices of energy, fuel, freight etc. Number of global customers are also increasing which is extending the level of services. There are increased labor rates, regulations and commodity prices. These things are putting high pressure on process of supply chain management within an organization.  

Planning & risk management

Periodic assessment of different types of issues related with supply chain management are needed to be done. These activities are performed in order to respond towards the changes in market which includes new product launch, global sourcing, credit availability and requirement to protect intellectual property. Hence proper planning and risk management is to be followed by company so that issues can be faced in efficient manner.  

Safety and quality of products

Producing high quality products that are safe is an increasing challenge for the producers. The number of product recall cases are increasing day by day. It can provide damage to the goodwill of the company and could prove to be expensive to its bottom line (Arndt, 2006). During the process of supply chain, it may be possible that quality of the goods can be affected. Hence to make sure that goods reached towards the consumers in safe manner is a kind of challenge for companies. It is obvious that people will not like damaged goods and products. At this stage it is needed that firm must adopt top quality and risk assessment measures. Proper arrangements must be made in order to avoid damage to the goods. Right manpower – Supply chain is not an automatic process, it requires effective manual handling also (Singh, Singh and Bhardwaj, 2011). Efficient and talented manpower is required to all processes of supply chain management. It is needed for performing functions like planning, applying strategies, distribution, organizing, staffing, control, communication, integration etc. Further companies look for those individuals who are capable of working at the global level, those who can handle the pressure of functioning at such wide scale. Handling of supply chain operations requires people who have the exposure and experience of working at the global level (Elizondo-Arroyave, 2013). Finding and keeping such efficient individuals can be difficult and challenging for the company. 

Market conditions

Global supply chain management could be affected by global marketing conditions. Company can find lot of fluctuations in supply and demand at world level. There may be differences in prices, payments and deliveries (Rhee and Mehra,  2006). Company might have to struggle with the availability of labour, raw materials, machinery, warehouses etc and other resources. There is lot of difference in market conditions of two economies. It may be possible that global market conditions may prove to be unfavorable for the company. Another factor which act as challenge for company is pursuit of new customers (Rhee and Mehra, 2006). The cost of developing a product that is from research & development to product introduction is significant. Hence in order to increase the market share and revenues, firms are making efforts to expand their distribution to emerging markets. Companies all around the globe wishes to grow in their domestic as well as foreign market. The entry into new market can be difficult because of complex trading policies, government regulations etc (Verdaasdonk, 2009).  

Customer preferences

Global supply chains are complex. Doing additions in the features of product that are constantly changing is really difficult. Taste and preferences of customers keeps on changing from time to time (Wantao and Ramanathan, 2012). Their expectations have become more demanding than ever. Soon after release of a product, there is a constant pressure on companies to come up with next big venture. They constantly work on needs and aspirations of people. Innovation is essential as it allows the companies to remain competitive in the market but it is also a challenge for them. Inorder to enhance a specific product, firms have to reconstruct and redesign their supply network (Anderson, 2011). They have to make efforts in order to meet the demand in a manner that it is transparent for customers. One of the biggest issue faced by the companies is how to decrease their supply chain cost. For the purpose of satisfying price expectations of customers, to reduce direct & indirect costs and to minimize taxes, firms have decided to relocate manufacturing to low cost countries around the world. Customers not only expect lower prices but they also expect their products to reach to them on time (Ivanov and Sokolov, 2009). Supply chain management is all about offering the right product in right quantity at right place and at right time. It all sounds simple but is a very complicated process.  

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2.5 Supply chain management process in Pepe Jeans 

Supply chain management is a very difficult process and requires lot of concentration & focus. It  requires optimum allocation of all the resources. It is important that all the resources must be used in effective manner and with efficient use of skills. The steps can be described as follows:
Planning – One of the most essential aspect of SCM is planning. It is about planning the strategies and schedules related to all the operations. At this stage it is decided, how all goods will be managed so that customers can get timely delivery. It includes arrangement of locations, manpower, suppliers, funds etc. Further parameters are also decided to monitor progress and compliance (Wantao  and Ramanathan, 2012). Relevant plans are made at all levels including the preparation of contingency plans, These contingency plans are prepared to remove any kind of uncertainties and troubles that arises  at an unwanted point.  

Selecting your supplier

Choosing best supplier for the goods is a difficult aspect. Factors such as price, delivery, payment are taken into consideration. Quotations and bids from different suppliers are analyzed and then company reaches to a appropriate conclusion. Management is responsible for developing a system for pricing, delivery and payment (Singh, Singh and Bhardwaj, 2011). It is evident that organization is required to maintain healthy and long relations with its suppliers, therefore identification of best supplier is very important.

Delivery or logistics

It is the fourth stage of supply chain management process It is related with responding on orders received by the company. Management make efforts to manage order receipts, establish a network of warehouse and selecting their carriers. Decisions are made related to transporting the goods at desired places avoiding any kind of mistake (Coyle and, 2008). It has to be assured from the side of company that goods reaches at right places, at right time and in right quantity without any damage to the quality.

2.6 Pepe Jean Supply Chain Management

PepeJeans's started selling their products in early 70's and quickly turned out to be popular brand in UK (Mark, n.d). Pepe jeans usually make contact with the independent retailers via their agents in respective country and who are responsible to supply cloths to the retailers. Pepe Company believes that the success factor of their company is because of the good relationship with the retailers of their company which comes under their SCM stream. Pepe Jeans faced the criticism that their ordering system is relatively complex and they had planned to invest in information processing system to make their SCM efficient and reliable (Verdaasdonk, 2009). Pepe is operating in 60 countries with more than 7000 outlets for the quick, efficient and timely delivery of goods for their valued customers (birchman, n.d). In order to manage their SCM pepe invested in their information processing system after collaborating with Brichman group.

Pepe Jeans is major denim outlet in London. Majority of sales of Pepe are managed through 1500 independent outlets throughout UK. The management maintain contact with its independent retailers through a group pf approximately 10 agents who are self employed and work exclusively for Pepe. Each of them is responsible for retailers in the specific part of  UK. These agents act as manager for their particular areas (Meepetchdee and Shah, 2007). They conduct meetings with each retailer 3 to 4 times a year in order to present new collections and take order. These meetings are performed in a hotel by holding presentation for retailers. Mostly the orders are taken for 6 months delivery. The retailers get 1 week time to cancel or make any changes after receiving an order. Company stands on its policy of not holding the inventory.


3.1 Introduction     

Research methodology is the most stringent section of the research study. In common words, it is referred as a search for knowledge. It is a  systematic way to solve the research questions of the research, which address the research strategy, research approach, research philosophy, data collection method. (Forzano, 2011) It can be termed as the process to gather information and data for the purpose of taking business decisions. Application of research tools and methods requires lot of focus and concentration. All methods are to be applied with proper justification. It drives the researcher towards achieving aims and objectives of the study. Selection of an appropriate research method is vital for the conclusions that are made about the phenomenon (Guerin, 2006). It has an impact on cause and factors influencing the phenomenon.  It is really helpful in providing solution to the research problem. The purpose of this study is to find out the answers for these research questions:

Primary question

5.What challenges are faced by Pepe jeans in global supply chain management process?

Secondary questions

6.How the fashion industry in UK has developed in the area of supply chain modeling for distributing goods at global level over a period of time?
7.What are pros and cons of the global supply chain management process adopted by Pepe Jeans, UK?
8.How Pepe Jeans can improve its complex SCM in order to enhance sales and profitability?

3.2 Research tools & techniques

Research philosophy 

The philosophy is regarded as the development of research background, its nature and knowledge. It is a vital part in order to collect the data in effective and appropriate manner. According to Johnson and Christensen, 2005, philosophy is a perspective based on value, concepts, assumptions and practices (Suri, 2011). There are various constraints within the research related to time, budget, content etc. Use of appropriate philosophy helps in eliminating these factors. To understand the social behavior of the research it is very much important to understand the research philosophy and we have two philosophies of research known as positivist and interpertivism (Taguchi, 2009). 

Positivism philosophy is based upon the structure giving importance to generalization. It makes use of quantifiable observations and analyze the results by using statistical methods. The philosophy relates with the universal law, law of unchanging and view of everything that occurs in the nature (Bazeley and Jackson, 2013). Under this philosophy, role of researcher is very important for the study. 

Interpretivism philosophy states that it is very difficult to make connection between social world of management & business and theories & laws of natural science. It depicts critical thinking about positivism philosophy (Creswell, 2003). It reflects that a simple fact is also backed with many truths and meanings and these can be applied for every research problem. It is more inclined towards qualitative data and generally adopts the unstructured interview methods of data collection (Grbich, 2012). 

For this study both research philosophies are employed. This is because this study will perform qualitative as well as quantifiable analysis. Further the subject of the research is of nature that it relates with universal law also and requires interaction with the environment also (Jackson, 2010).  

Research design  

Research design is defined as the blue print  and a detailed plan which shows how the study will take place. Its purpose is to ensure that evidence derived helps in effectively addressing the research question (McBurney and White, 2009). Technically it shows how the data is to be collected, what instruments are required and how they will be used. Hence there are different types of research designs which can be explained as follows:

Descriptive –

Descriptive research make use of surveys and fact finding inquiries of different kinds. The main purpose of using this design is to present the description of state of affairs existing in the study (Merriam, 2009). Under this design, researcher can only report happenings of the past and present because he has no control over the variables.  
Experimental design – Under this design, researcher makes an effort to identify what may occur. It allows the researcher to control the situation. It is used in the situation where there is time priority in a causal relationship (Olsen, 2011).  

Case study design

Under this design, an in-depth study is performed scan a particular problem despite of performing statistical surveys (Punch, 2009). Its purpose is to narrow down a broad field of subject. 

For this study, a combination of case study and descriptive design is adopted this research work will do the data analysis through analyzing a particular case of the company Pepe Jeans and further it will present the affairs of study by making use of survey technique (Ruane, 2005). These two designs are perfect and will help in achieving the aims & objectives of the study. 


It performs quantitative measurements of some characteristics. This kind of research is objective in nature and makes use of concepts, theories and hypothesis (Wright, 2010). It includes techniques like surveys, sampling and census in order to collect the data. Statistical and mathematical tools are adopted to perform data analysis. It needs data to be evaluated in numerical manner which can be counted (Sapsford and Jupp, 2006). Further statistical calculations, graphs and figures are used to support the findings. 

For this study, both research types has been used, as the work is of both subjective & objective in nature. Qualitative type is being used because this dissertation makes use of an case study in order to solve the research problem and to analyze the data (Forzano, 2011). Quantitative type is used because method questionnaire is adopted for collecting the primary data.   

Research approach 

While working on a research project, selection of a research approach is very vital to the study. Following a appropriate approach is essential in order to provide support to the process of methodology description. Application of an proper approach helps in increasing the efficiency of the research (Forzano, 2011).  So generally there are two types of approaches inductive and deductive. Both of them are completely different from each other.  

Inductive approach

Inductive approach is associated with interpretivism philosophy. Inductive approach of research tends to begin with the detail observation of the universe which moves towards the generalization of the research result (Neuman, 2003). It is a very flexible approach because under this there is no need of predetermined theory for the collection of data. Observation, tentative hypothesis, pattern and theory are important steps of inductive approach. It facilitates subjective reasoning by making use of real life examples (Guerin, 2006).  

Deductive approach 

For this dissertation, deductive approach has been used. Deductive approach of research is concerned with the development of the hypothesis of the research on the basis of existing theory, in other words deduction starts with the pattern testing of the observed data (Gulati, 2009). It is mainly associated with positivism philosophy. Variety of information is gathered by the researcher to provide confirmation or rejection to the hypothesis to solve an issue. Steps of deductive approach includes theory development, hypothesis , observation through data and information and confirmation (Taguchi, 2009).  

Data Collection 

Success of a research is decided by the outcome which is achieved at the end of study. These results are influenced by the methods adopted for conducting the research. In that context, there are two methods for collecting the data first is primary data collection and other one is secondary data collection (Taguchi, 2009). Data which has been collected for the first time is regarded as the primary data. It is very raw and fresh in nature. It is collected through approaches like observation, in-depth interview, survey, focus group etc. Under primary data method, researcher establishes a direct communication with the respondents to reach at the result of the research (Guerin, 2006). Unlikely to that under observation method data are collected by the researcher through simply noticing the things around him. 

While secondary data is the second hand information available for use. It is available on the basis of previously researched data and through sources like newspapers, books, journals, articles, internet etc (McBurney and White 2009). In order to analyze such data different types of approaches can be used like case study, articles, projects, documentation review etc. Under secondary approach published and unpublished sources are used by the researcher. 

For this study primary as well as secondary information has been used. Primary data has been collected from employees of Pepe Jeans who are related with supply and distribution department of the company through using questionnaire approach. Semi-structured interview approach is used to collect the data from 5 management people of the company (Sapsford and Jupp 2006).  While on the other side, secondary data has been collected from books, journals, newspapers articles, internet materials etc related to the subject of supply chain management. It is to be assured that all information has been collected from valid and authentic sources, No data has been taken directly from any source (Merriam, 2009).  

Sampling and sample size

Practical formulation of the research is very important and it is done with proper concentration and focus. It is performed under the presence of good guidance. Researcher has to pass through different issues while the formulation of the research on practical grounds (Sivia, and Skilling, 2006). These issues are mostly related with identifying the features of the population on the basis of studying the characteristics of the some particular part, that is known as sample. Sampling is an activity related with selection of individuals from a given set of population. It is based on law of statistical regularity and law of inertia of large numbers. Sampling is performed to make the data collection activity easy (Scruggs and Masotropieri 2006). It helps in offering accuracy and make the study reliable in nature. It is economical and avoids issues of time constraints. Through this researcher can get very detailed information.

Purposive sampling allows the researcher to become judgmental, subjective and selective in nature. Here the samples are investigated on the basis of judgment of the researcher (Forzano, 2011). The motive is to focus on particular characteristics of a population that are of interest and this helps in addressing the research questions and here the researcher is required to focus on supply chain management officials only. Selection of an appropriate sample size is also very important (Bazeley and Jackson, 2013). It helps in assigning weight to the study. For this work, a sample size of 40 people has been kept for employees and a sample size of 5 has been kept for interview with the management people.  

Data Analysis  

This section is the most important part because it actually includes what is researched in a manuscript. Data analysis chapter involves systematic presentation of the results and discussion on the same by analysis (McBurney and White, 2009). It helps in producing outcomes and results for the study. Data can be analyzed by using qualitative or quantitative approach. For this dissertation, both of them are applied. Case study approach has been used for the evaluation of qualitative data. Further SPSS software will also be used to investigate empirical data collected for this study (Sivia and Skilling 2006).  

Research Limitation  

Following are the limitations associated with the study:

  • This research universe is limited within the London only.  
  • Limitation of budget for this research another limitation. Researcher is required to complete it within that budget only (Guerin, 2006).  
  • Time period for the research is limited as per the deadlines of the university. Research is a very stringent and time consuming process. It takes lot of time in order to arrive at a particular point and assessing.  
  • Result will be dependent on the basis of respondents' views of primary data. These views cannot be taken as views for the entire population (Creswell, 2003). It is confined with those people only.  
  • Finding appropriate sources for data collection can be difficult.

Ethical issues

Maintaining ethical framework throughout the research is the duty of every researcher. There are certain ethical issues which impacts the quality of the study. First of all, data and information will be derived from valid and authentic sources. No data has been taken directly from any source (Sivia and Skilling 2006). The collected data has been presented in manner that is understandable for all readers. Unethical use of any data is avoided completely. Further misrepresentation of data is also avoided. While the interview and survey process, views & opinions of the participants has been respected. Complete freedom has been given to them in answering the questions. There is no manipulation of data and people are not forced to deliver their opinions (Scruggs and Masotropieri 2006). Identify of the people must not be disclosed without their permission. While designing the questionnaire, proper care is been taken care of and no misleading questions are kept. Similar has been done for interview process also. Further efforts have been made to make distance with so much subjectivity within the work. Replication of activities is avoided completely (Ruane, 2005). Act of   plagiarism and duplication is an offense and is punishable also. All such things are been taken good care of and researcher has successfully followed the ethical framework.  

Validity and reliability 

Validity and reliability is needed to be assured by the researcher. This can be done by following some duties and responsibilities. Data is to be derived from valid and reliable sources. Taking data from any unreliable source can affect the quality of research (Grbich, 2012). No data is to be taken directly from any source, proper referencing is required to be done. Researcher must be well equipped with all the concepts and understanding of the topic. Imperfect knowledge of anything can produce unreliable outcomes affecting the quality of overall research. Personal biasness must not be reflected by the researcher in any research activity (Jackson, 2010 ). He has to make sure that research has been carried out in the desired direction fulfilling all the aims and objectives.  


  • Anderson, D., 2011. Principles of Supply Chain Management. 
  • Arndt, H., 2006. Supply Chain Management. Optimierung logistischer Prozesse.
  • Bååth, H., 2008. Supply chain management ethics: conceptual framework and illustration. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal.
  • Bazeley, P. and Jackson, K., 2013. Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo. SAGE
  • Birchman, (n.d) Pepe Jeans Success Story [pdf] Available at: <>
  • Bruce and, 2004. ‘Lean or agile? - A solution for supply chain management in the textiles and clothing industry. International Journal of Operations & Production Management,
  • Bruce, M., Daly, L. and Towers, N., 2004. Lean or agile: a solution for supply chain management in the textiles and clothing industry?. International journal of operations & production management.
  • Christopher, M., Lowson, R. and Peck, H., 2004. Creating agile supply chains in the fashion industry. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management,
  • Clark, I., 2006. Writing the successful thesis and dissertation: Entering the conversation. Prentice Hall Press.
  • Coyle and, 2008. Supply Chain Management: A Logistics Perspective. Cengage Learning.
  • Creswell, A. J., 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. SAGE.
  • Creswell, J. W., 2013. Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 4th ed. SAGE Publications, Inc.    


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