This article describes a business transformation exercise conducted in Coats Viyella Clothing Knitwear (a major, UK based knitwear supplier). At the start of the work, Coats Viyella faced difficult business circumstances that threatened the continued success of the company. During the course of the transformation programme, principles were drawn from three recently highlighted management techniques: 'focus on core competence', 'business process reengineering' and 'time-based competitiveness'. These approaches have sometimes proved to be lacking when applied in isolation. In tackling the situation at Coats Viyella the authors applied elements of all three techniques to transform the business. The article details the approach taken, from careful ana lysis of the changed market place th rough to re-engineering of the business processes. The changes made include a new approach to product design, rationalization of the logistics flows between factories, the introduction of cellular production and new production control methods. As a result of the programme Coats Viyella Clothing Knitwear was left in a greatly improved competitive position: able to respond to a highly volatile fashion market faster and more cost-effectively than their competition. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved
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