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The field of Fashion Merchandising Mathematics Competencies has gained popularity in this century. Chao (2007) observes that for a long time, the society had fashion merchandizing competencies that were not considered of any value to the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers gave more emphasis to mass production other than the production of goods of high quality. Fashion merchandising has increasingly gained relevance within the last century. As technology changes, so do many factors within society. This means that manufacturers must adhere to these changes if they are committed to remaining in the market. According to Heldman and Baca (2007), manufacturing standards are always set by various regulatory bodies within the state. However, manufacturers are always required to go out of their way to deliver a product that is beyond the expectation of the market. It is through this that they can remain relevant in the market. They must have an understanding of the prevailing tastes and preferences in the market. This is where Fashion Merchandising Mathematics Competencies comes in. It is at this stage that a firm will be required to develop mechanisms through which it can monitor the changing tastes of the market. Fashion Merchandising Mathematics Competencies helps a firm come up with a scientific approach to monitoring and managing these changes within the market, and give products that meet the expectation of consumers. It helps a manufacturing plant have a clear plan on how to approach these changes, and how best it can use its internal competencies to come up with a product that is new and acceptable in the market.
History of Fashion Merchandising Mathematics Competencies
The history of Fashion Merchandising Mathematics Competencies can be traced back to the mid 19th century. Although this time, the topic was not well established, the need to keep up with the market needs was evident. According to Evans and Lindsay (2008), during and immediately after the Second World War, the world was in need of various manufactured goods. After this war, the world was open to trade. Transport vessels that were developed during this time reduced the world into a global village. There was a vast market in which manufacturing companies could sell their products. However, these manufacturing firms were few. Their produce could not suffice the world demand. Competition among the manufacturing plants was, therefore, something that was not common. As such, most of the manufacturing firms adopted a production strategy. In this strategy, the main aim of the manufacturers was to produce as much as possible because the market was readily available. The belief was that the market would have no choice but to accept what was presented to them.
As time went by, various firms were coming into existence from various parts of the world. Firms that never existed before emerged with products similar to that of other existing firms. The competition was getting into the market in a slow but very steady manner. The markets that were previously dominated by one player were getting various other entrants. It was coming out clearly that manufacturing plants had to find means of protecting their markets (Liew, 2009). They had to come up with strategies that would allow their products to become appealing to the consumers. This was the genesis of fashion. The firms realized that for their products to remain competitive in the market, they had to ensure that they maintained fashion both in the production strategy and the products they take to the market.
During this time, technology was also evolving at a speed that had not been predicted by many manufacturers. Various technological inventions and innovations were coming into existence, and they were directly affecting firms in various ways. According to Hicks (2004), the manufacturing sectors have had the heaviest bearing on the effect of technology. As technology was embraced by society, the manufacturing firms had no otherwise but to embrace it. These firms had to apply emerging technologies into their production strategies. Although this came with the massive expense, these firms had to use this technology to remain competitive in the market. The first attempt of firms to remain competitive in the market was experienced as they made efforts to differentiate their products. Firms realized that there was a need to keep a pool of loyal customers. To do this, there had to be a way of identifying the products of one company and that of the other. Loyal customers would find it easy to identify the desired product from a pool of many.
This was the genesis of branding. Firms realized that by developing a unique brand name, logo, and values for that particular brand, it would be possible to make their products easily identifiable in the market. The brand name and the logo would be clearly labeled on the product itself or the wrapper. A consumer would find it easy to locate the desired brand in the market. However, as technology advanced, and as the world changed in line with the changing technologies, many of the manufacturing firms realized that it was not enough trying to come up with brands as a way of differentiating the products. More competitors were coming into the market, and each was using its brand, as the brand had become a common strategy in the market. According to Charantimath (2007), firms are always under pressure to maintain a competitive advantage. This scholar says that in the current society, there cannot be a permanent competitive advantage that a firm can enjoy. However, firms do enjoy a competitive advantage while others have not known of the advantage. Once this competitive advantage is known by others, and they master its strategies, it ceases to be a competitive advantage. It becomes a bare minimum strategy that every firm must embrace to remain competitive. This becomes every firm will implement it to help in elevating it from the current position to positions of higher level.
According to Hartman (2002), for a firm to sustain the market competition, there is a need to evolve. Dynamism in the market is a very important factor that a firm cannot ignore in the market. Once a competitive advantage that a firm was enjoying has been turned into a common strategy in the market, this should not be the end of that particular firm. The firm should go beyond and identify a new strategy that would help it remain with a competitive advantage. It must develop a new strategy that is not common in the market. This will help in giving it new strength and capacity to deal with competition in the market. This pressure is even greater among the firms that specialize in sales of fashion products. These firms have the pressure of ensuring that their products remain fashionable. For these firms to attract customers, their products must bear some uniqueness that other market competitors lack (Hill & Jones, 2010). This means that these firms must come up with a clear system that would help keep the firm in track as far as issues of fashion are concerned. These firms must have a unique model, one which can be implemented to give the firm a new image in the market that is better than its current image. This was the genesis of fashion merchandising mathematics competencies. This is how firms came to appreciate the importance of coming up with this strategy to help maintain their competitiveness in the market.
Fashion merchandizing mathematic competencies have become the defining factor in the current dynamic world. The fashion industry has experienced massive changes in this 21st century. The industry has been under pressure to keep up with the emerging technologies in its operations. The changing tastes and preferences of the market are also proving to be a serious challenge to the market. One moment, the market demands a product that is new to the world and are as a result of the emerging technologies. The next minute this taste changes drastically, and the market then demands a product that was used several centuries ago (Hoyle, 2009). This movement comes suddenly, and the movement is massive. When consumers change their taste from one product to another, the products that have been passed by the changed taste remain completely irrelevant in the market. The production strategy that was used to make them also becomes meaningless. This is a challenging process that requires a lot of skill from the manufacturing firms to cope up. As Beecroft (2003) says, the process can be very frustrating because the firms d not know when this technology will change. They have to keep an attentive eye on the market to monitor the slightest of the changes, and then respond to the changes with the speed that is needed. This saw firms and researchers come up with models that can help firms in this industry cope with this challenge. One of the models that have proven to be of good use after long years of evolution is fashion merchandising Mathematics competencies.
In this strategy, firms would always try to incorporate various approaches in managing the changes witnessed in this industry. The use of mathematics in this strategy is very strategic (Kotter & Rathgeber, 2006). As was stated above, the process of managing change requires a scientific approach. The use of science will help in detecting the change very first, and defining the path that should be taken once the change has been identified. It is a strategy where the firm develops a clear mechanism of how to act when faced with the challenge of change. This avoids cases where a firm is forced to adopt haphazard strategies when faced with the need to change within a short period. As Bissoondoyal (2006) says, when change is implemented haphazardly, then chances of a firm messing is very high. This is the reason why bringing science into this process is important.
Fashion merchandising mathematics competencies may not be a common strategy among various sectors and scholars in the current society. However, it is one that has remained relevant in the field of fashion and designs. In this strategy, manufacturers base their competencies on a clearly defined mathematical approach that can be implemented whenever there is a need. The need to have this mathematical approach is because of the need to know the result of the strategy. Adair (2010) says that the implementation of a new strategy is always a risk. It is a risk because the firm will be taking a new approach that it had not used before. This strategy may be a success, as many firms would always expect. However, some of them are always disruptive. Some can completely disorient the operations of the firm if quick action is not taken to restore the situation once it is realized to be disruptive.
This is where the use of a mathematical model comes in. It is referred to as a mathematical model because it has a spelled approach that should be taken that would lead to the desired conclusion (Belton & Stewart, 2002). The management, therefore, knows what should happen at every stage, and what to expect in these stages up to the last stage. The management also knows the ultimate result that should be expected after completion of the entire process. This way, the firm will be taking what is popularly known as calculated risks. The management will know the possible risks that may arise at any given stage in the implementation of the strategy. The management can calculate the impact of the risks if it were to occur at every stage of implementing the strategy. With this, it will be in a position to calculate the viability of the strategy. The firm will know how to counter the risks as they occur in the implementation stages. According to Wang (2004), taking calculated risks means that the management will be in a position to understand the possible risks.
Given the historical development of this field over the past decade, it is apparent that it is increasingly becoming relevant in modern society. Fashion merchandising mathematics competencies may not be common in various other fields. However, the relevance of this strategy gives it a very bright future. Given the changes that are taking place in the world, this strategy is becoming very relevant not only in the fashion industry but very many other industries around the world. Firms are under increasing pressure to meet the demands of the market. These demands are very dynamic, and it is difficult for a firm to say that it has a mastery of the demands. The suppliers are also increasing this pressure on the manufacturing firms. These suppliers are demanding for more, on every item they supply to the firms (Ragai, 1996). They are citing an increase in the cost of living as their main reason for demanding more money. However, with the increasing market competition, firms are unable to transfer all this increase to the consumers. This means that it has to bear this cost. This will, in turn, reduce the profitability of the firm in the market. The profit margin will be reduced as both sides of the supplier and the customers continue demanding more from the customers. Firms must be conscious of these factors irrespective of their industry. For firms in the fashion industry, the pressure is even greater (Chary, 2009). They have the responsibility of developing a mechanism that would enable them to manage market demands as dynamic as it is. This is where fashion merchandising mathematics competencies comes in.
This strategy does not only help fashion firms become competitive in the market but also efficient in its operations. In this strategy, there if the emphasis on the need to ensure that employees increase their capacity. The strategy works in a way that every employee will have to challenge the current capacity by being able to beat a set deadline and then setting new targets every time he or she meets those (Kanji, 2005). For a firm to say that it is competent in the production of a particular product, then the employees should be in a position to meet their set targets with much ease and without any struggle. This means that these employees must have a way of testing their capacity to improve the competencies of the entire firm. It is through this that a firm can increase its profitability.
The future shows that this strategy will be used and transformed to reflect on future factors. There are numerous strategies that firms currently use, like six-sigma and total quality management. However, it is coming that these strategies are becoming common and, therefore, cannot give a firm a competitive advantage. There is a need to have new approaches that would give better results when combined with the current strategies. The strategy might evolve to reflect the dynamism of the market. Those industries like car manufactures may join the apparel industry in applying this strategy (Charantimanth, 2003). This is because fashion has turned out to be infectious. Various firms are finding fashion to be the defining factor when coming up with new products in the market. The market has become very sensitive to the issues relating to fashion. Consumers have become very sensitive to what they purchase. It is, therefore, important to follow these changes and adjust as is appropriate.
Fashion Merchandising Mathematics Competencies is a relatively new field in the world. It is not widely practiced as other strategies are in the market. However, this strategy is gaining popularity as technology continues to bring new approaches to society. According to this research, it is a fact that the fashion industry is under massive pressure to manage changes taking place in the market. The market needs have become unpredictable. Consumers continue changing their tastes and preferences, and firms are forced to find a way of managing this change. This strategy comes in handy in helping firms develop mechanisms of managing these changes and responding to them within the desired time. Given the fact that the strategy employs Mathematic models, the management eliminates the uncertainties that always arise when implementing various policies that lack the Mathematical approach. In this strategy, the management will be aware of the possible result at every stage of implementing the strategy. This enables it to detect the possible risks that may arise and develop strategies that can be used to counter this. The strategy also supports the need to ensure that every employee understands the role assigned to him or her. This will help improve efficiency within the firm.
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