How To Improve Competitiveness Of Cashmere Industry In China Business

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1. Introduction

China is the largest cashmere manufacturer in the all over the universe, with the amount entire end product about accounting for over 75 % of planetary production, followed by Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, and South Africa. Meanwhile, China is the top cashmere exporter with approximately 80 % of planetary exports — -nearly 75 % of cashmere merchandises in planetary cashmere ingestion market are produced in China. ( ‘Report on the first Asiatic conference on cashmere ‘ 2007 ; China International Cashmere Forum 2005 ) Additionally, China has the alone geographical advantage which is good for raising cashmere caprine animals, among which legion and all right assortments are herded due to the uninterrupted and complicated ecological environment and long-run unreal choice. Furthermore, the cashmere fiber which exhibits good belongings in choiceness, strength, elongation, is of best quality, and therefore is called as ‘gold soft ‘ or ‘fibre diamond ‘ . Although Chinese cashmere industry owns alone resource competitory advantages, nevertheless, with the development of economic globalisation, the industrial competition among states is intensified and the dimensions of Chinese cashmere industry dilate quickly, due to which a great figure of serious jobs have been exposed to the Chinese cashmere industry, These jobs have become the curtailing factors of favorable development of the industry, and the industry is necessarily faced with tremendous challenges.

Therefore, how to heighten the overall fight and derive competitory advantage is of great importance to Chinese cashmere industry, which is the major content of this paper. This paper begins with the description of the theories on fight, in peculiar the competitory advantage and Porter ‘s National Diamond Model. Then the paper analyzes the current state of affairs of cashmere industry in China by agencies of Porter ‘s National Diamond Model, along with the instance survey of successful cashmere industries in other states and some successful Chinese cashmere companies, to place the cardinal lessons that could be learned by Chinese cashmere industry and therefore win the industrial competitory advantages and better the sustainable development of the industry.


For each state, industrial fight is of great importance because it determines the industrial development degree and position in the planetary market competition, and therefore it is one of topics of broad concern from states to houses.

2.1 Definition of Competitiveness

The penetrations into the inquiry ‘what is the fight ‘ can be gained from the plants of Johnson ( 1992 ) , Hammer & A ; Champy ( 1993 ) , Murths ( 1998 ) , Barney ( 2001 ) and Esty ( 2001 ) . From the point of position of Johnson ( 1992 ) , fight is the capableness of an entity to supply more value to and better fulfill the clients than its rivals. Murths ( 1998 ) identified that fight is used to show the economic strength of an economic entity with respect to its challengers within the planetary market where goods, services, people, accomplishments and thoughts are non capable to geographical limitation and could freely displace ( Murths 1998 ) . Harmonizing to Esty ( 2001 ) , fight is demonstrated from the facets of assets and procedures. Assetss are categorized as familial one such as natural resources and created one like constructions, which are transformed into economic returns by procedures. ,

2.2 Theories of fight

The theoretical foundation of industrial fight could be classified into two theories: comparative advantage theory and competitory advantage theory.

Comparative Advantage Theory

David Ricardo, the classical economic expert, put frontward the comparative advantage theory as the foundation of international trade. Comparative advantage theory demonstrates that a state should concentrate on the industries which have comparatively higher production efficiency to interchange the goods from the industries with lower production efficiency. ( Chacholiades 1990 ) . Heckscher-Ohlin modified and extended the theory, and explained that ‘cross-country fluctuations in comparative factor gifts could besides determine the form of trade ‘ ( Gankhuyag & A ; Ser-Od 2009 ) .

Competitive Advantage Theory

In his book ‘The Competitive Advantage of Nations ‘ , Michael Porter addressed a inquiry: ‘Why do some societal groups, economic establishments, and states progress and prosper? ‘ ( Porter 1990 ) . On the footing of analysing the features of national environment, Porter addressed the theory of national competitory advantage. Michael Porter pointed out that traditional economic theories including comparative advantage theory can non explicate the beginnings of fight. Further he stated that industrial fight should be analyzed with the competitory advantage theory which indicates the different fight presented with regard to the same industry in different states or countries under the same competitory environment ( Porter 1990 ) . The chief difference between comparative advantage theory and competitory advantage theory is that the former one emphasizes the comparative relationship between different industries within one state ; nevertheless, the competitory advantage theory is about the same industry within different states. Grant ( 1991 ) assessed the book ‘The Competitive Advantage of Nations ‘ and expressed that ‘at all three degrees — -the house, the industry and the state, Porter offers new penetrations into the determiners of competitory advantage ‘ .

2.3 Michael Porter ‘s National Diamond

Michael Porter pointed out that the ability to set up or keep competitory advantage within international market is determined by four direct variables and two indirect variables which formed the model of National Diamond ( as seen in Figure 1 ) The four direct determiners are factor conditions, demand conditions, related and back uping industries and house scheme, construction and competition, and the two indirect variables are opportunity and authorities. The six variables combined determine that whether a state could hold a strong diamond — -the competitory advantage. ( Porter, 1990 )

A brief description of the six variables is as below:

Factor status is analyzed from ‘the features of factors of production, the procedures by which they are created, and their relationship to houses ‘ fight ‘ ( Grant 1991 ) . The factors are categorized as ‘basic factors ‘ such as natural resources, clime, location and demographics and ‘advanced factors ‘ such as communications substructure, sophisticated accomplishments and research installations ( Porter 1990 ) .

For demand conditions, Michael Porter presented that place demand could supply driving force for heightening competitory advantage, because clients ‘ demands could exercise force per unit area to the houses ( Porter 1990 ) .

Beginning: Porter M, The Competitive Advantage of Nations, The Macmillan Press LTD, London, 1990

Figure 1 Michael Porter ‘s National Diamond

With regard to related and back uping industries: Porter stated that whether an industry has competitory advantages is closely associated with its related and back uping industries. Normally a successful industry would jointly develop with a bunch of related and back uping industries alternatively of standing entirely ( Porter 1990 ) .

Concern house scheme, construction and competition, Porter identified that the different industrial features within different states determine the competitory advantages ( Porter 1990 ) . The features include ‘strategies, constructions, ends, managerial patterns, single attitudes and strength of competition within the concern sector ‘ ( Grant 1991 ) .

Chance plays a function in act uponing the four direct variables and therefore affects the competitory advantage. Additionally, authorities could supply opportunities and do challenges for industries even though it does non straight take part in industry competition ( Porter 1990 ) .


3.1 Factor Conditionss

In the book of Competitive Advantage of Nations, Porter noted the variable of factor conditions could be hierarchically categorized as basic factors and advanced factors. The importance of basic factors is bit by bit cut downing because the demands for basic factors have decreased along with the market globalisation, which means transnational companies could buy within the globalized market. Therefore, it is unstable to construct competitory advantage on the basic factors ( Porter 1990 ) .

From the point position of basic factors, China is overriding in cashmere resources with the best quality of natural cashmere and strong merchandise processing capacity. Meanwhile, China is a labor-intensive state thereby that is helpful in cut downing labour cost and other incorporate cost. In comparing with China, Scotland besides possesses the advantaged cashmere resources, and the Scots cashmere merchandise is extremely admired for its quality and coating. Although the labor cost in Scotland is non every bit low as in China, the Scottish cashmere industry performs much better than that in China. Therefore, basic factors are less of import in finding the industrial fight.

While advanced factors are of importance to derive competitory advantage. Advanced factor require ambitious and uninterrupted investing to sophisticated labor and engineering outgo. If a state would wish to set up formidable and sustainable industrial competitory advantage through the variable of factor conditions, it must develop the advanced factors instead than basic factors. Unlike basic factors, advanced factors can non be purchased but have to be developed through investing ( Porter 1990 ) .

From the point position of advanced factors, in China the capacity of independent invention demands betterment for cashmere houses. Because the Chinese cashmere industry has merely developed for a short clip, comparing with the European long-run constituted houses Chinese cashmere houses has big disparity in the facets of proficient invention and merchandise selling. Meanwhile, the capacity of independent invention is imbalanced across cashmere houses in China — -large houses put considerable investing on proficient invention whereas little and average 1s invest inadequately and deficiency of creativity. Although some Chinese cashmere houses has started the research in the field of dyeing and spinning, some key engineerings still have non been grasped unlike in developed states.

In contrast, Todd & A ; Duncan provide the grounds that advanced factors is important for deriving competitory advantage. Todd & A ; Duncan was founded in 1867, and now it has become the European leading cashmere yarn knitting house, which provide cashmere yarn with most stylish colorss to luxury trade names such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Herms and Christian Dior. Todd & A ; Duncan are good known for its production engineerings. As far back as it was founded, Todd & A ; Duncan were in the lead in the field of cashmere intermixing narration. Now it is still good known for its fabrication technique in individual strand. Collaborative with the most advanced fabric engineerings, it produces the finest and noblest narrations. In add-on, in Todd & A ; Duncan, computing machine assisted programmes are used in dyeing process such as color direction. High-tech installations like coloring material matchmaker are besides used to look into the coloring material truth, which is in the lead place of the industry ( todd-duncan 2010 ) .

Review back to 1980s, it is because paying attending to the advanced factor such as treating engineering, Chinese cashmere industry could take a bend. In 1980s, some cashmere houses led by Erdos Cashmere Group and Snowlotus Cashmere Group foremost introduced the most advanced cashmere teasing machines and teasing procedure from Japan. After larning the procedure and doing farther processing engineering betterment, Chinese teasing technique of caprine animal cashmere made a qualitative spring, and the dehaired cashmere made-up rate and quality exceeded the international degree. Therefore, it enhanced Chinese cashmere industry into a new age ( China International Cashmere Forum 2005 ) .

From the illustrations of Todd & A ; Duncan and Erdos Cashmere Group, it can be seen that Chinese cashmere industry should non merely rely on the resources advantage. The rapid development of Chinese cashmere industry in the past 30 old ages chiefly manifested the growing of cashmere steadfast Numberss. When the industry enters into fall, this sort of growing will be surely restricted by the finitude of the cashmere resources. The industry will be progressively elaborate classified into little subdivisions which ask for higher production specialisation grade. Therefore, Chinese cashmere houses must heighten the engineering invention capacity and better the scientific and technological contents and added value for the cashmere merchandises in order to derive competitory advantage in planetary competition. However, there are some barriers for Chinese cashmere industry heightening the engineering invention. For little and medium cashmere houses, they have blockage in funding channels that can non obtain equal advanced resources. Additionally, the buildings of engineering invention substructure, investing policy and favorable legal environment are dawdling behind. Merely when a good environment established, Chinese cashmere industry can develop engineering invention in order to bring forth high add-valued merchandises.

3.2 Firm Strategy, Structure and Rivalry

In footings of house scheme, construction and competition, Porter identified that the competitory advantage is act uponing by the different industrial features which include ‘strategies, constructions, ends, managerial patterns, single attitudes and strength of competition within the concern sector ‘ ( Grant 1991 ) .

From the point position of house schemes, it includes competitory scheme, selling scheme, branding scheme, etc. Harmonizing to Philip Kotler, ‘Each company must happen the manner that makes most sense, given its state of affairs, chances, aims and resources ‘ ( Kotler 1999 ) .

At present, nevertheless, in the planetary market a great many cashmere merchandises are produced in China whereas less Chinese cashmere trade names could be found in the high-end market. Zhang Zhi, executive manager of Erdos Cashmere Group, stated that lacking of trade name edifice is the root cause of barricading up the development of Chinese cashmere industry ( China International Cashmere Forum 2005 ) . Most of the exporting cashmere merchandises enter international market through OEM production, nevertheless the merchandises in ain trade names are less than 10 % of the entire exports. Chinese cashmere industry has become the processing workshop for foreign companies. Missing of trade name build-up is the most conspicuous failing of Chinese cashmere industry.

Mentioning to trade name edifice, Loro Piana provides a good illustration. Founded in 1924 in Italy, Loro Piana now is the largest and foremost cashmere maker in the western universe. On the footing of sourcing finest fiber from Northern China and Mongolia and understanding clients ‘ demands and life styles, Loro Piana produces cashmere goods in Italian company ‘s ain Millss, making and presenting value to consumers ( Loro Piana 2010 ) . Harmonizing to Luxury Institute Survey, in European high net-worth consumers rank, Loro Piana was ranked as the ‘best of the best ‘ luxury trade names in the class of work forces ‘s manner, followed by Ermenegildo and Giorgio Armani ( luxury institute 2010 ) .

One Chinese cashmere trade name besides performs good. 1436 Erdos, a trade name belongs to Erdos Cashmere Group. Although the trade name of Erdos is regarded as the most good known trade name in China, it can non elicit attending in the planetary high-end market. Therefore, set uping a planetary trade name is the chase of Erdos Group. 1436 Erdos, taking its name from the characteristics of its prestigiousness cashmere fiber which is ranked as highest class, develops finest cashmere merchandises with top quality. On the footing of pulling up the trade name scheme — -serving high-end markets and positioning itself as the universe ‘s prima luxury trade name in China, makes other reacting steadfast schemes such as merchandise and selling schemes to better its fight in the international market. Erdos cashmere merchandises were given to Mikado, Nipponese Prime Minister and other curates as official national gift when China ‘s national leader ‘s visit to Japan in 2008 when it was merely one twelvemonth since the trade name established ( 1436 Erdos 2010 ) .

In add-on, harmonizing to Porter ( 1990 ) , the driving power heightening houses to take part in international competition is of important importance. The driving power could be raised from international demand, or local competitions or market push. The most relevant factor in making and keeping industrial competitory advantage is the powerful competition. In the international competition, successful industries must hold got through terrible domestic competition, and were forced to reform or to restitute.

However, in China there are over 2000 cashmere merchandises houses, among which most of them are incapable of developing new merchandises or researching new techniques. Most of the houses merely can treat inferior quality merchandises on the base of copying other trade names ‘ manner. The competitions among most of the cashmere houses chiefly are the monetary value competition. Therefore, the current state of affairs of Chinese cashmere industry ill performs — -unreasonable excess low-level production and disorderly competition. In contrast, taking Ballantyne cashmere as illustration, it presents that competition competition could excite competitiveness betterment. Ballantyne Cashmere was founded in 1921 in Scotland, now it is enjoyed by increasing consumers. At present, stylish cashmere merchandises developed by the manner houses such as Ralph Lauren, Channel, Christian Dior and Givenchy are progressively widely praised by consumers. Therefore, as the traditional cashmere maker, Ballantyne has begun to see the new rivals. From the public presentation of the rivals, Alfredo Canessa, the president of Ballantyne has noticed consumers ‘ altering demands therefore he led Ballantyne to better the merchandise design by agencies of uniting cashmere with other different fabrics like silk cloth ( Ballantyne 2010 ) . Likewise, Erdos Group has begun passages. Erdos cashmere merchandises were complained for out-of-date design in the yesteryear. However, now it is doing attempts to reconstruct merchandise individuality. Gilles Dufour, as former art manager of Channel for twenty old ages, has been invited as the new art manager of Erdos Group to develop new cashmere merchandise aggregations. Gilles Dufour introduced Erdos a ‘semi-fashion ‘ tendency which ‘advocates the beauty of simple luxury ‘ , taking to set up a prima luxury trade name in China in order to better the fight. ( Erdos 2010 ) .

Through the illustrations of Loro Piana, Ballantyne and Erdos Group, it could be found that the house scheme and competition is significantly important to heighten fight for both houses and industries. However, cashmere houses have to see the undermentioned barriers when brand schemes. First, there is no such a scheme that could be successfully adopted by every house, and the suited scheme is the best 1. Second, most of the Chinese cashmere houses merely pay attending to rivalry competition peculiarly monetary value competition which could impede the Chinese cashmere industry form the positive competition consciousness.

4. Decision

The end of this paper is to happen how to better the fight of cashmere industry in China. In order to the end, this paper adopted Michael Porter ‘s National Diamond Model to depict the determiners which influence the fight of Chinese cashmere industry. The Diamond theory identifies four direct factors with two indirect factors, viz. the factor conditions, demand conditions, related and back uping schemes and house scheme, construction and competition with opportunity and authorities. This paper chiefly analyzed how Chinese cashmere industry performs from the facets of factor conditions and house scheme, construction and competition. Additionally, many instances of successful cashmere houses have been studied to larn the lessons from their concern operations in order to supply a mention for Chinese cashmere industry. However there are some barriers should be paid attending by Chinese cashmere houses. Chinese cashmere industry should develop in a sustainable manner to better the fight in planetary cashmere market.

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