Accelerate your operations to gain competitive advantage

On July Nike CEO John Donahoe announced sweeping changers by saying: “ We are announcing changes today to transform NIKE faster, accelerate against our biggest growth opportunities and extend our leadership position”

He used words such as FASTER and ACCELERATE intentionally; they’re making every effort to get faster all the phases of their business.


During the webinar the speakers (Dave Kelly and Liam Bossy) deeply talked about the following topics:

-define the emerging need for speed to reduce lead times across the value chain;

-provide insight into the expectations of leading footwear and apparel Brands;

-identify immediate next steps that materials vendors can take to get faster;


Why speed?

Brands need to get faster because of fundamental shifts in 3 areas: consumer (the rising class of consumers with their new expectations) , commerce (and how the market place is evolving), competition.


Brands are developing their strategies to target a new group of consumers, they’re really focused on the consumers born in late 90s to early 2000 (from thoroughly ’95 to 2010), the also called Gen Z, who is the centerpiece of their consumers platform; the reason is that nowadays Gen Z makes 40 % of consumer spending and the number is expecting to grow to 50% over the next couple years.

People from GenZ  were born and grow up in an area where they always have access to technology; they spend almost 10 hours a day on their smartphone, much more than past generations. What does it mean for Brands? Almost every Brand is investing in forms of membership, trying to develop relationships with their consumers rather than just set transactions.

Why? Because consumers are spending more and more online than in physical shops.

The expectations of the consumers are pretty simple: they want immediate access to the product anywhere, in any time.

Brands want to be able to engage digitally with consumers by giving clear data, transparency.




Lower barriers to entry have created a new battleground for Brands.

Before the marketplace was dominated by big players, small specialty/ regional Brands; with the growing of digital commerce, the barriers to entry have been reduced.

The marketplace nowadays is much more fragmented because there are many new, smaller players.

Social media plays a key role.

The ways in which consumers absorb media has evolved significantly since the start of the pandemic.

For this reason more companies such as Zara, Nike, Adidas are investing in digital tolls.

Technology can boost growth in companies of all sizes. An investment in new technology can result in reduced costs and improved profitability.

Even those Brands who aren’t especially tech-savvy can benefit from using intuitive, convenient platforms, which offer low-cost investment services and a wide array of benefits.


How to identify strategies and tactics to use to get faster


The best way to start is to put yourself in a scenario where your most important customers are coming to your headquarter, looking for answers, to hear your plan for speed. What you’re going to say to them?

Your plan needs to cover three fundamental areas: strategy, plan and action.

The first thing that you can do is talk with your customers in order to understand what they need, what problem needs to be solved; in this way you will be able to know where you need to be “fast”.

Once you know the strategy, you can start taking actions.

First of all start to look internally.

Then you need to identify the actions you can take to get faster, collaborate upstream with your suppliers and segment your customers based on speed needs.

Remember to measure progress using your metrics and your customers.


Summary of the webinar


-Cost, quality and on time delivery will always be fundamental needs but speed is emerging as a differentiating factor for players in footwear and apparel value chains.

-Brands will be making decisions about who they want to partner with, to deliver products to market faster and will grow more with those partners.

-There are immediate steps to take, but there’s the need to have a good strategy and a plan to ensure your company actions meet the needs of your customers.

-“ What got you here will not get you there”: the future is faster and the companies that accelerate will win.

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