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Driving Forces: Liz Claiborne, Inc.
Liz Claiborne is a name popular in the apparel and fashion business. The brand speaks for itself. Its growth has been unprecedented that can be attributed to several factors. The firm has a different type of business strategy: it manufactures products through subcontracting companies throughout the world. Claiborne’s managers occupy two buildings in New York while their workers are working in factories in more than thirty countries worldwide. But there is more to this that has attributed to the firm’s successes in the past.
During World War II, Liz Claiborne fled the Nazis to study art and to start a career in the apparel and fashion industry. Her special design was for the American working women so they could have an alternative to the traditional dark tailored suits. She introduced a classic style for women that would last for years with a price that is not exorbitant. (Siggelkow 55)
Liz Claiborne had the urge and the motivation. While working in a company that manufactured sportswear, she thought she could do more.
It was not only sportswear that she had in mind, it was something formal that the ordinary American woman could wear, be comfortable of her clothing and be proud about it. She worked for her dream, i.e. to make a powerful brand that would empower the working, professional women who are left with no other choice but to wear the traditional dresses not fit for the modern American woman.
An initial driving force of Liz Claiborne was the emerging demographic at the time she founded her company; this was the working women of America. In 1960, there was an estimated 21.9 million American women working in different industries. This was an ever growing working class because by the 1990s, it grew to 53.5 million, an equivalent of 45 percent of the working class of America. (Siggelkow 54)
Ms. Claiborne had noted the lack of choice the working American woman had at that time when it came to career clothing. The young Liz was then a designer of women’s sportswear in a company known as ‘Youth Guild’.
She knew that the market segment of the working American women was growing and that she had to grab the opportunity because she felt she had a role to play with respect to fashion and apparel for American women. When ‘Youth Guild’ closed down, Ms. Claiborne saw a greater opportunity.
Along with her husband Arthur Ortenberg, who was also involved in the apparel industry as a consultant, Liz Claiborne opened up a company to design apparel for the professional women of America. (Siggelkow 54)
She wanted to save the American women from being too traditional through their clothing and formal wear. She knew she could do something. By her creative design and experience she started the Liz Claiborne Lines, providing the women of her time a casual but unique American wear. Claiborne products also include fragrance products. Now, Liz Claiborne brands are for high-end fashion apparel that includes the moderate fashion apparel for women of all ages and nationalities.
Claiborne’s strategy all through the years has been subcontracting. Her style was to go to different countries, particularly in Asia, provide workshops and do presentations for her new designs and fashion, then go back to her headquarters in New York. The companies she worked with knew her strategy and so they offered their expertise for her designs. (Siggelkow 55)
Liz Claiborne is a global organization. It is global not only in the sense that it operates internationally but also it is working under certain circumstances, and this includes the structure, the motivation, the market, and so forth. In the age of globalization and high-technology, Liz Claiborne’s strategy has become effective.
Distance is no longer a problem because of the popularity of the Internet. Claiborne’s designers and managers do not need to go to other countries to demonstrate and instruct their subcontracting companies on how to follow their designs. They can use the Internet and teleconferencing to do it. It can use screen-based activities. Features of the Internet provide interactive methods or networks.
There are many opportunities and realities the world has offered because of globalization. Transportation has been revolutionized allowing people to travel faster than the speed of sound. Technology is the powerful force that now drives the world toward a converging commonality.
Outsourcing has become a trend in the age of globalization. With countries like China and India and the rest of the Asian countries now offering cheap labor, global firms can outsource their production that are labor-intensive. Global companies can utilize the services of outsourcing companies which offer cheap labor. Their costs are relatively low. Liz Claiborne has tapped the emerging market and the cheap labor that could also facilitate an effective supply chain.
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This is what the firm has been doing. In the beginning, Liz Claiborne and her husband would personally go to Asian countries, particularly Taiwan and Hong Kong, to demonstrate and instruct the employees of subcontracting companies on their designs. But this is now easily done. There is no need of personally going to those places where subcontracting is being done. The Internet and teleconferencing can provide the necessary tool for two parties to interact and communicate.
Globalization has become phenomenal due to the high-technology tools that have sprung these past decades. ‘We have become globalized’ means we can now connect and conduct business with the rest of the world so easily. With just a computer with internet connection, we can connect with anyone around the world that has an Internet connection. Any sort of business can be benefited with Internet applications.
‘Globalization is happening, faster and faster. But it is far from complete, and far from inevitable. Globalization can disrupt, but it can also empower. What does it all mean, for real people in the real workaday world?’ (Larsson 3)
Advancement made in communication and the internet makes it very easy to connect with people in the other side of the globe. The global age is here and will continue to dominate man’s activities – businesses for that matter – for many years ahead, centuries perhaps, with more and more industries emerging everyday as a result of new tools, innovations, and inventions made by man. Because of these advances, changes, innovations, or development, and new industries are formed.
Liz Claiborne has international-based brands. These brands are for retail outlets but they also have MEXX, which has become an international name. They have partnered brands which are for men and women. Liz Claiborne brands also include Dana Buchman, Kensie, Monet, and many more.
But the strategy has evolved; they have retails for domestic and international markets. Since Claiborne is a global organization, it licenses third parties to provide cost-effective utilization and sale of Claiborne products. (Liz Claiborne Inc. – Company Overview)
Another driving force for Liz Claiborne is its philanthropic activities. Liz Claiborne believes that one way of continuous successes in the corporate world is to give back. By this, Liz Claiborne formed the Liz Claiborne Foundation, a vehicle of Claiborne’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). Claiborne has close contact with the communities they have businesses with and the various civic organizations for partnerships. Their primary focus is on women who are victims of domestic violence. (Liz Claiborne Inc. – Philanthropic Programs)
Managers can drive forces either up or down. This happened to Liz Claiborne. There were low sides in business for Liz Claiborne. In 1992, problems started to surface. Its sales were down and market capitalization went down fast at $1.3 billion by the closing period of 1994. A series of strategies in operations and marketing, implemented by the new CEO Paul Charron enabled Liz Claiborne to rise again. The company’s capitalization went up to $3.2 billion. (Siggelkow 54)
Organizational performance is responsible for this trend. The managerial capabilities of Claiborne were responsible for the downward trend of the sales and its losses in the stock market. The top management team (TMT) of Claiborne that could have identified opportunities was a driving force for the firm to lose those opportunities. The opportunities are internal and external factors. (Kor and Mahoney, 2000; Bosch and Wijk, 2001 as qtd. in Chen 1)
Knowledge and expertise of the managers failed to identify the factors that could have maintained Liz Claiborne’s lead in the apparel and fashion industry. And when the company changed the CEO, there was sudden upturn in the sales of the firm, including the price of its share. This was because the new CEO, Paul Charron, instituted drastic operational and marketing reforms.
Key Success Factors
Designing and marketing are two of Claiborne’s specialized techniques in business. Their premium brands include Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, and more. JC Penney has the sole right of manufacturing and distribution of some of the department store-based brands. Liz Claiborne was accompanied by her husband and two other partners Leonard Boxer and Jerome Chazen when they started the fashion apparel company that later became a multi-billion dollar business. (Liz Claiborne Company Heritage)
Originality and innovations are some of Liz Claiborne’s success factors. She was a designer by birth and her quest to help women like her made her a true designer for the professional women. Liz Claiborne is said to be the inventor of “imported fashion merchandise”. She imported the products she designed (Collins 106).
While the rest of her competitors were working under one roof, or that their workers and managers were working in one building and one factory. Claiborne perfected the concept of subcontracting to different factories in Asia and the rest of the world. Subcontracting has become a trend because of Liz Claiborne’s successes.
Prices were low despite the fact that they were considered designer level. These were compatible with Calvin Klein and Bill Blass, but still affordable for the professional women.
Another success factor is Claiborne’s ethical standards which are said to be the backbone of a successful organization. This is what Claiborne aimed to do. Their ethical standards are guided by the virtues of honesty, integrity and their accountability to the people. Because of this, they have gained respect from their customers and partners. (Liz Claiborne Inc.: A Portfolio of Brands)
The strategy of selling is also one of a kind. Claiborne’s first strategy focused on selling via large department stores. In the United States and Canada, Claiborne accounted for about 9,500 locations filled with products on apparel and fashion. This was aided by four of the largest department stores, namely Dillard’s, May, Macy’s and one which was composed of several stores, Federated Department Stores.
Liz Claiborne introduced a presentation format unique from other fashion designer companies. They used what Liz Claiborne called “Claiboards” and “Lizmap diagrams”. These presentation materials contained sketches and pictures including notes and instructions on how their products should be presented to the public.
The pieces of merchandise were grouped together and each group had its own name or label. Claiborne’s strategy is to sell their products as a collection rather than ordinary clothing or apparel. Presenting their merchandize as a collection is an effective way of selling to a great number of loyal customers. (Siggelkow 56)
According to the Liz Claiborne website, department stores used to have a classification-oriented style of selling. This means pants were sold in one section of the store, skirts in another area, and shirts are also separately sold in another department.
This provided difficulty to women in that when they would try to assemble an outfit, they would have to transfer from one place to another in the department store. In order to solve this problem, Liz Claiborne Inc. managers talked it out with department owners and retailers on the way the different sportswear collection would be presented. They should be in one location. (Liz Claiborne Inc.: Company Heritage)
Consultants travelled to many places to ensure that Claiborne’s products were arranged and presented to the public correctly. For all these stores, a special space was provided to present the entire Claiborne collection. The presentation of the merchandize proved effective as many provided positive feedback. (Siggelkow 56)
Among Claiborne’s strategic innovations is the use of technology in its processes. The company website is a 24/7 interactive method wherein customers can make suggestions and also air their complaints.
Claiborne also uses technology in their design of products. They use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) in the design of apparel and fashion products. This is one of the productive means of the company, the use of computers. Speed in manufacturing and quality of products are one of the benefits of using CAM. Other large and successful companies in different industries also use CAM.
Another computer method used in making designs is computer-aided design (CAD). Integrating these two concepts – CAM and CAD – allow for more speed, accuracy and quality of the design. Combining CAM and CAD provides ways for a new process known as computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). CIM enables manufacturers to design the product and to control the machinery that makes the products. (Pride et al. 288)
Claiborne is also affected by the growing tide of globalization. It is a knowledge-based organization, and its workforce is composed of a pool of talented and expert designers. Claiborne has invested on its employees. The company also aims for customer satisfaction and loyalty; its products and services are quality-oriented. The company sees to it that the company adheres to quality management and best practice.
Their strategy is customer-driven, a success factor effective up to today. Claiborne aims for talents and customer’s focus and loyalty and also sees the importance of focusing on their employees because they see the relation between contented employees and contented customers.
Satisfied employees result in satisfied customers. Meeting the customer’s needs and wants is a business trend in the age of globalization. Liz Claiborne aims for customer loyalty while keeping cost of production low. This is shooting two birds in one shot but difficult to achieve; difficult because meeting the customer’s needs and wants at the same time minimizing cost of production do not ensure quality product or service. Claiborne focuses on quality in design.
Most of the companies nowadays, particular the global ones, prefer standardized products which can be manufactured by outsourcing companies from China, in order to minimize production costs and the flow of supply chain.
The apparel industry is labor-intensive; its process of manufacturing requires the services of more people, which is unlike other manufacturing processes where they use machines and robots to manufacture the products. Claiborne’s strategy of subcontracting may be similar to outsourcing strategy. It has been proven effective.
Liz Claiborne does not own factories where they can produce quality apparel. Claiborne’s strategy has long been introduced since its inception as a global company. Products are produced by companies throughout the world. But quality is not sacrificed. They have their own quality control checked by their own managers. (Collins 104)
Application of Information Technology
Customer interaction is now enhanced by technology and the Internet or the World Wide Web. Customers can ask questions or complain through company websites or through emails. Modern information technology used in supply chain includes Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) which is the information transmission backbone of manufacturing companies and supply interfaces. The popularity of the Internet has led to the introduction of Internet-based EDI.
Another important factor that brought success to Liz Claiborne is its application of knowledge management. Knowledge management has made it successfully handle the cost, quality and the different improvements for the organization and its branches overseas.
Knowledge management is significant to Claiborne’s global operations and in the study of innovations and adoption. When we say knowledge, we usually understand this to mean theoretical knowledge or practical knowledge, but it also includes experience and skills. In the age of globalization, knowledge is both a product and resource.
Knowledge and knowledge management are significant developments in the new globalizing environment. Competitive advantage among organizations is more pronounced with the knowledge people possessed, or what is termed, ‘people-embodied knowhow’ (Rodriguez and de Pablos, 2002, p. 174). Firms are focusing on what their people know, and invest much on intellectual capital.
More success factors are attributed to the right fashion they have introduced to the public. From the firm’s initial demographic of the professional women of America, Liz Claiborne has introduced almost any brand for men and women; thus the brand “Claiborne” (for no gender) has stayed for men and women’s clothing.
Their fashion styles introduced to the public are long lasting. Claiborne has a strong brand that they could boast of. These brands have their own particular niche focus. The firm also has a decentralized form of management with departments and units making their own decisions. These decisions are automatically carried out with speed and accuracy. (Scribd.com)
Brands are a name that cannot be taken away by competitors. Sometimes, it’s the brand that competitors are trying to beat and not the product, although the brand speaks for the products. Claiborne has multiple quality brands like Kensie, Kensiegirl, DKNY, etc. These brands are international names and they compete with well known other brands like Zara of Inditex and Hennes and Maurits (H&M), etc.
Added to the brands were the so-called apparel seasons to meet customer demands and taste. Liz Claiborne was concerned with the buying patterns of customers in order to guide their production processes. Other companies in other industries usually do this particular in-house survey to determine customer demands and loyalty. Some of these companies come from the automotive industry, like for example Yamaha, Honda or Toyota. (Bower and Hout 49)
Liz Claiborne opened retail stores aside from going wholesale and selling their products through exclusive contracts with department stores. In 2006, Liz Claiborne competed with other retail stores like Apple, Bose, and Nine West, to find ways to test customer loyalty and following. The stores boasted the company’s exposure to their customers, not only on the market segment that the company serves. (Anderson)
In 2008, Liz Claiborne Inc. granted license to Elizabeth Arden, Inc. for the latter to manufacture, sell and distribute Claiborne fragrance products. These fragrance products include JuicyCouture, Usher, Mambo and other fragrances. (Elizabeth Arden, Inc.)
E. Scott Beattie, the CEO and Chairman of Elizabeth Arden, Inc. said that the licensing agreement was a strategic move for both firms that could also bring competitive advantage on their respective companies.
The alliance also brought benefits such as improved market share and more profits for Arden in their American fragrance stores; improved supply chain and a wider organizational perspective; increased customer and more sales from a wider audience. Growth in earnings and sales for the company was expected by 2009. (Elizabeth Arden, Inc.)
The licensing agreement was made effective with some conditions such as the fulfillment of the requirements of the law known as the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. (Elizabeth Arden, Inc.)
Elizabeth Arden, Inc. was founded by Miss Elizabeth Arden in 1919, with specialty in beauty products. Like Liz Claiborne, its mission was to initially ‘serve’ the American woman and it first focused on this particular market segment. Through the years, its strategy has been for continuous innovations. They have tapped other market segments aside from the women demographic. (Elizabeth Arden)
Many of Claiborne’s brands have been carried or sold by big department stores. But department stores nationwide suffered a setback; many of them are not earning that big anymore probably because of the recent economic downturn. The once popular and big chains of department stores have been closed. One chain, the Marshall Field, had been changed to Macy’s. Claiborne lost a bit of its popularity. (Boone and Kurtz 376)
Liz Claiborne had to part ways with some of the big department stores that sold its products for years. Claiborne is now exclusively contracted by JC Penny to sell its men’s, women’s and other product lines for ten years. In short, Claiborne moved from Macy’s to have an exclusive contract with JC Penny and no other department store shall have the opportunity to sell Claiborne products.
Under this agreement, JC Penny also has the exclusive right – if it wants to – to buy Claiborne products in five years. The arrangement also states that Claiborne will continue to be designer of the apparel and fashion products and JC Penney will do all the other responsibilities like production and marketing, procurement of raw materials and promotion and distribution of the finished products to end users. (Boone and Kurtz 376)
JC Penney had in the past demonstrated that it could successfully market Claiborne products.
With respect to Claiborne subcontracting style, Claiborne developed a special bond with apparel suppliers in Asia. In Hong Kong, the company Fang Brothers made their factories available for Claiborne.
Fang Brothers was a growing company in the 1960s until it expanded to other countries like Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. It also expanded to Panama and Ireland. The Fang Brothers was good at the strategy known as “triangle manufacturing”.
In this particular strategy, U.S. companies and other importers would place their apparel orders through companies, for example Fang Brothers who, because of over capacity, would place the same orders to affiliate factories located in other Asian countries that offered lower cost of production. (Collins 108)
In Europe, Liz Claiborne’s competitors include Zara and Hennes and Mauritz (H&M). Zara and H&M are said to be low-cost competitors. Liz Claiborne goes for quality although its prices are not so exorbitant. Zara and H&M have been expanding to markets of the same segment. (Ryans 4)
Zara is owned by Inditex and is into the international apparel market and fashion, which are customer-driven markets. It is continuously growing and said to be leading in Europe. Following closely is Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) which outsources most of its products at lower cost. Like Liz Claiborne, Zara is quality-oriented. It produces 60% of its products and introduces quality management. Unlike H&M, Zara ensures that its customers are satisfied and hopes to come back to buy more of its products.
Zara is more liquid but, like the rest of international firms, is affected by the growing tide of globalization. It is a knowledge-based organization, and its workforce is composed of a pool of talented and expert individuals. Inditex, Zara’s mother company, sees to it that the company adheres to quality management and best practice. The company’s financial standing is as healthy as ever. (Inditex)
Zara and H&M have been closed competitors of Liz Claiborne, quite a feat for the two since Liz Claiborne is more of a traditional and considered “higher end manufacture” in the industry, while the two are considered low-cost. They however have been expanding and their financial standings are also considered healthy. To solve the problem of competition, Zara and H&M have used high-profile endorsers such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue. (Ryans 15)
This also challenged the firm of Liz Claiborne. In responding to the challenge of competitors on low prices, Liz Claiborne also had to act or she could lose some of her following and some profits. Claiborne used the same strategy by producing apparel and fashion products of low cost, something very affordable to the working women.
Talking of globalization, this has affected even the smallest firm. But it has worked in Liz Claiborne’s advantage. Liz Claiborne manages a pool of expert managers but not an entire workforce. Production line is handled by subcontracting firms. Claiborne goes to a country and instructs supervisors of firms doing the production. It has only to make sure that the design is being followed to the smallest detail. After that, the Claiborne and her managers go home to their headquarters.
Globalization has modernized the concept of human resource. International HRM explores how global organizations manage the demands of ensuring that the organization has an international coherence and cost-effective approach to the way it manages its people in all the countries it covers, while at the same time ensuring that it is responsive to the differences in assumptions and in what works from one location to another.
This is very relevant to managing an organization of different culture. There are countless other issues that have to be addressed by the assigned senior manager and staffs.
Claiborne’s managers do not manage a workforce in a factory setting. They just have to present their design and go home to their headquarters. Finished products are presented to them. And finances would be taken care of by their people on a contractual basis. Although this strategy of Claiborne’s is not new, it has been perfected by the firm.
Distinct Competitive Advantages
Claiborne’s strategy is marketing orientated which requires that a number of changes takes place in the organization, in practices and in attitudes. Implementing the marketing concept requires more than paying lip service to the ideas inherent in the concept. Behavioral sciences can lead to an understanding of buyer behavior.
Liz Claiborne saw the opportunity when she founded the company, along with her husband and a few trusted friends in the apparel and fashion industry. She knew the business and how to run it. She had discovered her niche and her market segment, capitalizing on the gender she was most acquainted with and her creativity and experience.
Liz Claiborne knew what to sell and to whom. She analyzed the future of the company and the market she was in. In doing this, a company can shift focus to analyzing what the future holds with the customer. This may include determining if the customer may still want to deal with the company, or buy products from the company or shift to other competitors. The information on customer satisfaction is vital in the improvement and enhancement of the product. This information and data can be linked back to the manufacturer for further quality enhancement.
Liz Claiborne became aware of this when the firm attained competitive advantage. Competitive advantage became more visible when in the year 1999. Liz Claiborne produced more than 120 million pieces of clothing from 256 factories around the world that supplied these products (Collins 105). Liz Claiborne had used this strategy since the 1970s and has come to perfect it with ease and accuracy to make the firm ahead of the competition.
‘Strategic competitiveness is achieved when a firm successfully formulates and implements a value-creating strategy.’ (Hitt et al. 4)
This value creating strategy was attained even during Liz Claiborne’s early years as a firm producing apparel and fashion products. It gradually grew and came to its height of corporate success.
In 1976, Liz Claiborne started with a capital of $250,000. It was a small capitalization that became big. Five years later, it went public and earned revenues of up to $116 million, becoming a part of the Fortune 500 list. This was a feat by a woman at that time. Fortune also said that Liz Claiborne had become the top earner with respect to the year-end equity in the 1980s.
Then in 1991, Liz Claiborne earned more than $2 billion with its shares of stock rising. An investor who bought $10,000 worth of shares from Liz Claiborne was assured of a profit for investment of up to $610,000 (Siggelkow 54). In 1996, Claiborne’s profit reached $155.7 million, even surpassing Wall Street’s prediction (Kernaghan 36).
Claiborne’s top management was successful at the beginning, although later it experienced rough sailing. They effectively used strategic management by focusing on the capabilities of their human resource, designers and managers who were properly screened, tested and trained.
A successful strategic management allows for competitive advantage or edge for the organization. In strategic HRM, strategies and people are involved; in other words, the firm was putting people together, including their talents, skills and capabilities, to make the business successful.
The concept of strategic HRM is based on the important part of the HRM philosophy that emphasizes the strategic nature of HRM and the need to integrate human resource strategy with the business strategy (Armstrong, 2000, p. 6). The top management team (TMT) failed to deliver the necessary managerial capabilities to its senior and medium-level managers that forced Claiborne’s sales and stocks to go down.
The top management team which is responsible for the managerial capabilities of Claiborne failed in their strategic management. When the firm replaced the CEO with a new one, Paul Charron, who instituted reforms, the sales and stocks rose.
Moreover, Claiborne’s supply chain also adds to its competitive advantage. The firm has focused on quality, least cost, and effective utilization of the resources to provide the goods and services to the end users at the shortest possible time. Supply chain management is traditionally focused on least-cost transaction, but the new trend in business-to-business transaction is long-term relationship.
Claiborne’s subcontracting firms are from Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries in Asia. Claiborne maintains a good relationship with these firms, assuring the conditions for a safe and fast delivery of products to the end users.
This strategy can test the customers and consumers. The question that is always in the mind of the marketing manager is: “will the customer come back?” One significant strategy in meeting the needs and wants of customers is introducing an approach to supply chain that aims back at the customer. Satisfying their needs and wants is always a challenge to marketers. Knowing the customers’ needs have become a foundation for which a company is founded.
Customer focus is vital to supply chain. The customer wants to be understood, and the marketer can interpret this by answering what he/she wants of the product. The information can be inputted back to the customer for enhancement of the product. If it is service-oriented, the company has to modify the service. Supply chain has to be continually improved in order to attain customer satisfaction and loyalty, while customer focus can reflect satisfaction and loyalty.
An excellent supply chain management can attain customer satisfaction; at the same time, customer satisfaction may lead to loyalty, although satisfaction does not necessarily lead to loyalty. Before loyalty can be attained, customer closeness is crucial; meaning some activities have to be geared towards contacting the customer in order to acquire more data and information about the product, and how the customer reacts to the product, including suggestions for improvement.
Acquiring more profits, which is one of the major goals of companies, seems to be not a sure goal. It is also one of the difficult objectives to achieve. There are more and more products being manufactured but there are fewer customers who buy these products. Companies, or global business and organizations, have to find their segments and customers because they have more products to sell. There is a surplus of products and less customers.
In other words, organizations around the world compete to gain more customers, and one way of gaining more customers is to win their trust, answer and meet their needs and wants, and make sure that they come back. It is not enough that they buy the company’s products; it is important that they come back; this is loyalty.
Supply chain is an important factor to consider in attaining customer satisfaction. When a product is being bought by a customer, it must be delivered quickly, with ease and comfort of delivery, and must have the desired quality that the customer asks for.
Subcontracting has assured Liz Claiborne of an effective supply chain. The firm sees to it that their designs are followed and manufactured on time. Marketing however has been changed every now and then to answer the demands of the changing times.
As stated in the section for ‘Competencies’, Liz Claiborne entered an agreement with Elizabeth Arden, Inc. for the manufacture and sales of Claiborne fragrance products. This is one way of creating a fast and effective supply chain. Elizabeth Arden, Inc. is a former competitor that has turned into an ally and promoter of Claiborne products.
Claiborne products are manufactured by manufacturing companies through subcontracting and now delivered exclusively by JC Penney. JC Penney has acquired exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Claiborne products. JC Penney can provide an effective supply chain for Claiborne products.
Innovations and changes are continuously introduced into Claiborne’s strategies. This is to answer organizational and customer needs. An example is Claiborne’s introduction of what they call “fashion moderates”, from branded and costly fashion apparel to “fashion moderates”. The price has been lowered to meet customer demands and expectations. (Collins 104)
The company also emphasizes diversity in the organization and in the workplace. The strategy is to emphasize inclusion that should be a part of the organizational culture and cultural fabric. Inclusion is synonymous with diversity. It allows a collection of ideas and concepts to help in everyone’s advancement and the organization’s. Training and development are a part of this so-called cultural fabric. (Liz Claiborne, Inc.: Diversity)
The firm also emphasizes inclusion to its various suppliers and associates. They regard inclusion as very important to company principle and philosophy. It is a shared responsibility that should be practiced by every executive and employee. Senior executives should be leaders to promote inclusion. All of their associates share the responsibility of honoring everyone’s contribution for the fulfillment of the organization’s objectives.
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