The need for manufacturing companies to develop competitive advantages in terms of factors other than cost is investigated. The IDEF0 system-modelling tool was initially used for the development of an apparel manufacturing system reference model to illustrate details of all activities taking place in a typical company. The model was used for the development of a manufacturing strategy audit tool to enable companies to make an assessment of their current manufacturing practice, benchmark the same against better practices from the industry and select alternative strategies for implementation with a view to achieve enhanced product competitiveness. A novel methodology for manufacturing strategy auditing through the use of the developed audit tool, was tested in three case study companies. The results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the audit tool and the methodology, to enable companies assess their current practice and embark upon alternate strategies to pave the way towards achieving enhanced global competitiveness.