Elegance Uses Data Mining to Solve Vendor Fit Problems

Ellen McKinney , Steven McKinney
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781474208789.021
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A luxury specialty retailer sells well-known branded merchandise in addition to a private label of their development with a luxury knit apparel vendor. The retailer and vendor manufacturing the private label have always had good relationships working closely together to develop a product that has sold well. A problem occurred for the retailer when the vendor made design changes to their popular knit suit, making the arms tighter, which caused an increase in the retailer’s cost of their alterations. Using a data mining (analysis) system, the costs of their alterations was found to be due to the vendor’s design changes. The retailer offers free alterations for its customers and the increase in alterations, sometimes performed in-house and sometimes sent to the vendor to do, had increased the cost to the retailer. Customers were also unhappy as they had to buy larger sizes and/or wait for more alterations.

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