The importance of quality in the consolidation of textile firms in the Minho region in northern Portugal

Sónia Oliveira, Gilberto Santos, J. Batista Costa

Resumo


The textile industry has a long tradition in Portugal and is one of its most important sectors, despite the current economic crisis. The lack of quality and the practice of higher prices decrease a firm’s competitiveness and can lead to the loss of clients. Thus, the implementation of quality-related measures plays an important role in this context. The objective of this analysis was to determine the importance of quality in the consolidation of textile firms in northern Portugal. To undertake our analysis, we examined data from 60 textile firms. In addition, we sent these firms a questionnaire to obtain information on the current state of the textile industry in Portugal. Most firms in our sample believed that quality improvement, business benefits, mobilizing employees’ knowledge and business image were important factors to increase their competitiveness. Furthermore, we found that competition in the textile industry can be very intense and is mainly driven by price and not by product/service differentiation. Most firms undertook Total Quality Management measures to ensure the quality of their production, meet customer expectations and prevent errors. Quality was highlighted as an important factor for firm survival.

 

Keywords

Quality, Portuguese textile industry, Quality management system, Minho.


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