Revolutionizing the Value Chain in the Sporting Goods Industry Through Virtualization
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The sporting goods market is a €59-billion business at wholesale. Add to that a fashion wholesale market of €125 billion, and you arrive at a sizeable industry that continues to build its value chain on traditional processes and technologies. This chapter discusses how a major sporting goods company, like many other consumer goods companies, faced the challenge of shortening product creation lead times to get closer to the consumer, reducing costs in the supply chain to improve the bottom line, and bringing its sales and marketing processes to the next level. An overhaul of the value chain was essential to meet the demands of the twenty-first century and delight consumers with a truly new brand experience. These challenges led to the creation of the virtualization strategy—a revolutionary, innovative approach to the value chain, unique in the sporting goods industry. The creation and implementation of virtualization became an innovation driver in cross-functional collaboration, speed to market, and supply chain efficiencies, and ultimately turned into a consumer stimulus.