Featured in Operations Management - Strategy and Analysis

By Professor Lee J. Krajewski and Professor Larry P. Ritzman 1998

Often customized products and services are services are associated with lengthy delay in delivery. Not so in Hong Kong tailor industry. Custom tailoring in Hong Kong has long been considered a shopper's paradise because the many tailor shops offer the customer many options. The competitive priorities of these shops vary. Some emphasize low prices and lightning-quick development speed. One tailor claims the world record for the fastest made-to-order suit: one hour, fifty minutes, and two seconds.

Other tailors, such as W. W. Chan & Son Tailor, Ltd., and Ash Samtani Clothing, Ltd., emphasize high performance design and customization, as well as development speed. A customer may come into a shop with a design for a dress or suit or look through the many fashion books in the shop to select an outfit. During the first visit a tailor makes suggestions for fabric choice and modifications to the initial design to improve the appearance of the garment and takes complete measurements. Typically two fittings are required to fine-tune the measurements and ensure a custom fit. The total time to deliver a customized high-quality dress or suit is four to five days. The tailor retains the measurements and patterns so that the client's measurements or the garments style don't change, all that needed is the choice of fabric and another customized can be produced with the same high quality.