How can garment factory fires be prevented by retailers ?

An article in the New York Times (December 10,2012) describes the fires that have killed 400 people in two fires, one each in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Bangladesh supplier was dropped by Walmart for not passing audits, but made the clothes on subcontract to the supplier who got the contract. Some labor groups claim that a 3% higher price could pay for safety, but how can the buyer be assured that will happen.Others claim the need for an independent auditor whose costs will be paid by the buyer, but the costs become reasonable only if many buyers share these inspection costs. How should these deadly fires be prevented by buyers and how should consumers demand accountability? Should retailers only purchase from certified suppliers and if so, how will they track subcontracting to non-certified suppliers ? Should technology be leveraged i.e., sensors and cameras as well as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), to monitor garments as they are manufactured ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How can garment factory fires be prevented by retailers ?

  1. Your post raises imporant question about how to prevent such incidents. It is very challenging to find the right answers, but the the supply chain view seems to play a role. I have written a related post some weeks ago: http://scmresearch.org/2012/12/07/bangladesh-clothes-factory-fire/

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