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First Look Inside Adidas’ Speed Factory

Sales & Trends

DOETINCHEM, the Netherlands – The need for increasing speed to market is so essential for sporting goods supplier Adidas that they founded a dedicated department and built separate factories, all aimed at distributing products to the consumer as quickly as possible. What such ‘Speed factories’ really entail has recently been revealed in a video by Adidas.

First Look Inside Adidas’ Speed Factory
Adidas built separate Speed factories aimed at distributing products to consumers as quickly as possible. – Photo Adidas

The concept of Adidas’ new ‘Speedfactory’ was presented by Vice President Speed at Adidas Franck Denglos at the first World Cycling Forum organised by Bike Europe and the WFSGI.

“This is the future of how we create,” said Franck Denglos. “Athlete data-driven design, radical accelerated footwear production, open source co-creation and localized manufacturing are the main themes.”

‘Speed to market is must for Adidas’

“Speed is key to the sports business,” explained Franck Denglos at the World Cycling Forum. “When we started the ‘Speed’ project in 2015, product development at Adidas took 18 months. In the current market this model could not live much longer. We needed to change in an attempt to win the consumers again with a concept that is fresh and desirable.”

This philosophy resulted for Adidas in a new strategy of not selling what they produced any longer but produce what they sell. “First, we had to bring down the timeline from concept to shelve (in the shops) to a minimum of two to seven months. Second, we should never be out of stock. That is a very important aspect of fast moving consumer goods. At the same time we accelerated leadtimes from sixty to thirty days.”

Low inventory levels

“To guarantee a smooth market introduction of new items we distribute one or two relatively small batches,” adds Denglos. “This enables us to catch up with production responsiveness, the ability of our production system to achieve our operational goals in close cooperation with our suppliers. Main advantages are low inventory levels and the opportunity to create additional sales.”

“Also product availability is very high and we can sell a large part of the production at full price. This generates a higher contribution level. To reach this goal everybody in the supply chain has to participate and we discussed this with all our partners. That’s not rocket science, but a transformation process, which takes time. You can shorten the calendar by aligning processes and creating parallel processes.”

Adidas has taken this process to the max with the creation of ‘speed’ factories. The first one with a production capacity of 1 million shoes is based in Ansbach, Germany.”

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