3DBODY.TECH 2017 - Paper 17.297

J. Bellemare, "Slow Adoption of Technology in the Apparel Manufacturing Industry's Implementation of Mass Customization", in Proc. of 3DBODY.TECH 2017 - 8th Int. Conf. and Exh. on 3D Body Scanning and Processing Technologies, Montreal QC, Canada, 11-12 Oct. 2017, p. 297.


Slow Adoption of Technology in the Apparel Manufacturing Industry's Implementation of Mass Customization



University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), Department of Management & Technology Management, Montreal QC, Canada


This paper outlines and discusses the possible causes of the slow adoption of technology for mass customization in the apparel and fashion industry. The study first identifies (based on a number of interviews with apparel producers) the performance indicators and the integration of technologies necessary for the implementation of a system of mass customization in the garment industry. The interviews with these producers reveal certain factors and characteristics that can explain this slow adoption. Our research looks into the factors and industry characteristics in large part explaining the apparel industry's difficulties and lateness in implementing one of the most important recent innovations: the mass customization of garment products. We argue that one of the major difficulties arises from the lack of integration between the technologies presently used by the industry and those offered by the providers of new systems. The products offered do not meet the apparel manufacturers' and distributors' needs and expectations. Our interviews with different stakeholders point to: (1) a lack of technological fluency on the part of both managers and labour, (2) a strong resistance to change in a very traditional industry that still relies on outdated work habits, (3) a lack of proactivity and implementation of strategic or technical watches, (4) minimal investment due in part to the difficulties of borrowing money, and (5) the bad press often given to technology and mass customization implementations by certain important industry actors. Past research has demonstrated the importance of understanding the mass customization of garment within the context of trade globalization and the industry 4.0, which has led to ever more fierce competition in the global fashion and apparel market. But, why is the manufacturing industry so late in understanding this? According to your results, the principal cause is the lack of integration between technologies currently in place and those offered by suppliers which do not adequately respond to the needs of manufacturers and distributers.


Full paper: 17.297.pdf
Proceedings: 3DBODY.TECH 2017, 11-12 Oct. 2017, Montreal QC, Canada
Pages: 297
DOI: 10.15221/17.297

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