Kutesmart: The Digital Transformation of Apparel Manufacturing (Simplified Chinese Version)
(7 pages of text)
In 2017, Chinese clothing manufacturer Qingdao Kutesmart Co. Ltd. (Kutesmart) had been transformed into a customer-to-manufacturer platform company, where customers could order individualized products directly from the makers over the Internet. Since 2000, Kutesmart had been upgrading its information system as its business strategy evolved, and the company had become a widely known, successful case study of mass-customization-based manufacturing in China. However, as the company leaped forward into the age of digitization and globalization, its founder faced a number of questions: How could Kutesmart extract more value from its data resources and technology? The company was assessing and pursuing a platform strategy; could this strategy help Kutesmart take its business to the next level? What were the opportunities and challenges?
The case is suitable for an advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level course on strategic management, international business, or information systems. It can also be used in an entrepreneurship course or a family business course. The case covers various topics including corporate strategy, business and competitive strategy, operations management, platform strategy, information strategy, and entrepreneurial process. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Describe global manufacturing—with the apparel manufacturing industry and its evolution as examples.
- Explain the concept of Industry 4.0 and its impact on industries, especially traditional manufacturing.
- Describe the firm’s corporate and competitive strategies and apply the resource-based view to identify the company’s core competencies and key competitive advantages.
- Formulate and implement information strategies to meet the firm’s business needs and develop competitive advantages.
- Evaluate the platform strategy and its associated opportunities and challenges.
China, Large, 2018
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