Posted: May 24th, 2022

The Merchants of Prato: Supply Chain

Merchants of Prato Case Study Supply Chain

The Merchants of Prato: Supply Chain

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The Merchants of Prato: Supply Chain
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

The purpose of this work is to perform a sample case analysis of the case expressed in “The Merchants of Prato.” This case essentially is in relation to Information Technology, Supply Chain Management and Knowledge Management. The supply chain structure currently in existence in Prato will be described as well as defining the difference in the structure from those defined in figures 1-2 and 1-3 of the Handfield and Nichols text. The work will examine the possible role for information technologies into an organization structure such as those which existed in Prato as well as explaining the procedures for development and implementation of such technology. Issues will be identified which will be important for consideration in the design of information technologies in the organizational and supply chain structure of Prato. Finally, the role of knowledge management initiative in Prato will be identified if this possibility realistically exists and the methods for development and deployment of a KM initiative in Prato will be described.


Prato is located in a region that is said to be “in a socially and economically homogenous geographical area in Tuscany” which is in “North-Central Italy approximately 30 kilometers North-West of Florence. ” Kiman et al. (2004) This region is known for its industry in wools and was also known to be an industry that originated in sharecropper farmer customs or the “mezzabi” who not only farmed but also gained income through “sheep shearing and wool processing.” Kiman et al. (2004)

I. Organization and Commercialization of Prato:

The wool industry started with modest resources but son became “an extensive network of a large number of small firms” Kiman et al. (2004) with each of these entities having a different area of specialization in the process of taking wool and processing it into cloth products. Eventually the wool supply was known to have run short and innovation led to the textile industry procuring used cloths which would be recycled into raw materials and then used again in the industry. The city was known at the citta’ delgi stracci which means “city of rags.” Kiman et al. (2004)

The trend in the region after the 1930’s and under the reign of Mussolini was toward that of centralization which was referred to as an “autarchic” policy. However, upon democracy being restored in 1948 the family business gained momentum again. The Prato system is one of “production through a network of small specialized firms.” Kiman et al. (2004) The most recent statistics provided by Financial Times in 1994 state the “existence of approximately 8,500 small firms.” Kiman et al. (2004) According to the stated information “47%” of the firms “employ fewer than 10 people” and another 40% of the firms are employing less that 50 individuals. The survey further shows that “Prato is the single biggest agglomeration of the textile manufacturing facilities in Europe with a turnover close to ItL 6,500 (U.S.$4.65 billion)” Graham (1994) as cited by Kiman et al. (2004).

Presently the industry of Prato is geared toward the fashion industry’s high and middle sector and is no longer relying on recycling of cloth and utilizes natural and synthetic fibers as well. Innovation is key in the industry as well as flexibility due to the changing needs and demands in the fashion industry. The area is well infiltrated with CAD – Computer aided design use. The Praetorian industry is a type of value chain but is also inclusive of the concept known as “value-added partnerships.” In the Prato region the family owned businesses market their goods through small companies or impannatores and the value chain is distributed between the companies in the region with the impannatore easily able to post and change production orders to add or remove production capacity.” The impannatore is the provisionor of access to global markets. Kuman (1996).

II. The Difference in the Praetorian Industry and figures 1-2 and 1-3 of Handfield and Nichol’s text:

Handfield and Nichol’s text demonstrate a system with an external downstream supply chain that is inclusive of all the downstream distribution channels, processes and functions that are transversed in the product having reached the customer. The supply chain is a steady and reliable as well as predictable model in both figures 1-2 and 1-3. The system of Prato is one of a “closed management system” in that the impannatores are “well-identified firms that manage the relationships of final marketing.” The impannatore holds the authority and power to change the flow of orders as well as the orders themselves at a moment’s notice. Figure 1-3 is more likely to offer an example of the Praetorian system because the new forms of interorganizational relationship have been included in this model. In fact this model is considered to be that of the “ideal” system in knowledge systems.

III. Knowledge Management Systems in Prato:

Therefore the supply chain system of Prato is one that would benefit from institution of what is called a “Virtual Enterprise” which is an enterprise relying on a “stable network of partner firms from which they can rapidly create temporary projects….one partner can be a member of several parallel projects and two firms can simultaneously be partners in one project and competitors for another.” Katzy (1999)

Due to the power of the impannatores to make changes so rapidly the knowledge management systems most suited to the Prato industry would be that of the Virtual Enterprise due to the flexibility in the system. The virtual enterprise is utilized in the business environment where opportunities of business change quicker than adaptation can be accomplished by the organization. Virtual Enterprise management and the specialization applied creates strategic options in the environment of the impannatore-based marketing system.

According to a report by “IST Results” the distributed supply chain in the textile and clothing sector present complications. However IST Results suggests a XML-based communication solution called Moda-ML. Moda-Mo is a peer-to-peer exchange framework which doesn’t require “middleware” for enabling exchanges and is said to offer the benefits of being easily set up with a very low technological threshold that is scalable and is free and public as well. The system can be embedded in other solutions and does not require royalties.

However, due to the social and business integration in the society/industry of Prato’s industrial district there exists “economic relationships that are based on social rules and traditions as well as the strength of social ties among individuals within and across organizations,” a “strong mix of competition and co-operation among firms, where relationships generally have a long length” and an “equal distribution of the power among district firms, with an important role played by third parties” as well as the “aggregation an spatial proximity as well as the shared languages as elements able to support rapid information diffusion, facilitating knowledge sharing and innovation process.” (Becattini, 1991) as cited by Chiarvesio (2003)

Summary and Conclusion:

Due to the social and economic integration in the Praetorian society the Knowledge management solution for the area must be one that encompasses both dimensions of the society and economics of Prato. There are many research initiatives in process concerning the unique economics in Prato.

The Local Merchants of Prato: Small Entrepreneurs in the Late Medieval Economy, Baltimore and London, John Hopkins University Press, 1999. 191 pages ISBN 0-8018-6057-1. [Online] available at 02/pPDF/pTheLocalMerchantsOfPrato.pdf

Researchable Directions for ERP and Other New Information Technologies (2000) Editor’s Comments [Online] available at:

Kumar, Kildeep & Bielli, D. et al. (1998) The merchant of Prato-revisited: toward a third rationality of information systems. MIS Quarterly; June 1, 1998.

Dirksen, Vanessa (2001) The Cultural Construction of Information Technology (2001) Journal of Global Information Management 2001 Jan 1.

Researchable Directions for ERP and Other New Information Technologies (2000) MIS Quarterly 2000 March 1.

Katzy, Bernard Dr. (1999) The Virtual Enterprise: Thriving on Turbulent Change 1999 Jan Barcelona Management Review [Online] available at

Weaving the Fabric of B2B Communication, IST Results [Online] available at

Chiarvesio, Maria (2003) Reinventing Regions in the Global Economy: Innovation and Internatiolisation of Italian Districts 2003 April [Online] available at

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper

Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
Open chat
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.