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Sports shoe producers need ‘new mindset’

Companies that manufacture sporting goods need to establish a new ‘mindset’ in order to inspire their product designers to explore the new technological capabilities with which they are being presented. That is the claim made by speakers at the Manufacturers’ Forum, organised by the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industries (WFSGI) in Leipzig, Germany.

Some 180 delegates from 22 countries came together to discuss ways to better integrate design into manufacturing. As part of the conference programme, they visited the nearby Porsche car factory, where production methods are factored into an early phase of the design process.

adidas Group chief executive Herbert Hainer, who delivered the keynote address explored reasons why design and manufacturing need to be brought together. He claimed that the answer is simple – consumer brands need to reduce their costs, while increasing speed and improving the efficiency of their supply and distribution chains.

Steven Shih, executive director at Taiwan-based footwear manufacturer Yue Yuen, said that manufacturers must build what he called a ‘user’s mindset’ among company executives, which involves finding the right people and placing them in right positions.

Delegates to the conference were told that the footwear industry would have to differentiate its product portfolio in order to stay competitive. According to one speaker, this could be achieved through the use of modular systems and by reducing the complexity of production processes.

Photograph above shows adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer, who delivered the keynote address.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 6 of the January 2015 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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