Speeding toward customization
Expected to be fully operational by the end of next year, Adidas will open its 1st U.S. ‘Speedfactory’ production plant in Atlanta. This will be the second ‘Speedfactory’ Adidas will have opened; second to Germany. Atlanta is known as a key transportation hub for the U.S. as well as home to many successful sports teams. This makes the location perfect for Adidas, to be close to a good network and large customer base.
Adidas’ goal is to be closer to the customer, engaging with the changing styles and their tastes. The factory will contain automation and production robots, making it more flexible to customize the sneakers to customer demand. This is a trend becoming ever more popular, with rival companies also making customization accessible for the customer. The use of these machines will be easier compared to reorganizing a human workforce when, for example, the styles are constantly changing and adapting. They will, however, employ 160 people to look over the site. Adidas expects to extend the factory in the coming years to better cope with demand, starting with the production of 50,000 pairs per year then increasing to 500,000.
Read more about Adidas’s new venture here.
More reasons to shop online at Morrisons
This week, UK supermarket chain Morrisons announced changes to their initial 2013 contract with delivery service Ocado. After only creating an online platform in 2013, Morrisons is slowly catching up with its competitors who established their ecommerce presence years before. The new deal supports delivery nationwide, whereas at the moment, around only half of UK households can receive a Morrisons delivery. Morrisons will also introduce more non-food brands such as toys to their site, expanding product ranges to better compete with the likes of Asda and Tesco.
A change is expected from as early as next year, however profit forecasts have been left unchanged. In spite of this, it has been predicted that online profit could potentially increase by £100 million. They will have to invest in additional capacity to cope with the expansion, however through the deal, they will gain access to Ocado’s new Customer Fulfilment Center which will be fully functional by 2018. They have invested 30% of building costs and will be able to fully use the center for at least 5 years. The new investments may at first set Morrisons back, but with time will show their usefulness.
More information available here.
Time to get ethical
As it was national handloom day this weekend, attention was drawn to the practices of these companies in India. Businesses in this sector are becoming ever more pressured to reduce costs and speed up processes. The sector is dominated by small to medium businesses that cannot always cope with this sort of pressure, resulting in forced labor and withheld salaries. However salaries themselves only equate to $1.06 an hour.
This has paved the way for ethical clothe companies such as No Nasties. They are focused on organic trade cotton, meaning a fairer wage due to increased product costs. Audits are being regularly conducted to ensure no child labor and better working conditions. As a result of this, of course, the products are more expensive than alternative non-ethical products, but the demand seems to be present. There is a growing interest for these types of products due to the sustainable and ethical fashion trends. As aware as customers may be, there is still a lack of knowledge about these terrible practices. Through an increase in demand it will become easier to fix this supply chain and create a fairer working environment for this particular industry.
Find out more information here.
Total Recall: the new unexpected texture
Five UK supermarket chains have had to recall 18 brands of yogurts following a rubbery threat. Manufacturer Yeo Valley stated consumers could be at risk after pieces of rubber were found in their products. No details have been released as to how the pieces of rubber were found in the product. It is hard to pinpoint the cause when suppliers from all over the world are involved, however the growing threat of misconduct from the Far East is a telling sign. They are less likely to conform to EU and American standards, due to cost issues. This has subsequently led to a decline in quality.
Monitoring of the supply chain needs to be improved in order to avoid these problems. Suppliers must be properly regulated and assessed to ensure compliance with all rules and standards. All levels must be thoroughly evaluated, not just the final product location. The food industry’s supply chain is becoming increasingly complicated. Therefore attention needs to increase to avoid such incidents from happening again.
Catch the details here.
Have a great weekend!