Nike’s knit shoe design and global supply chain impact

An article in Bloombergbusinessweek (March 19,2012) describe the flyknit shoe design by Nike – whose upper is knit from thread as one piece, thus saving 35 parts and 66 % less waste. The reduced labor intensive assembly also makes US production more competitive, once transport costs and lead time a accounted for. In addition, shoes can be custom fit easily by being knit to fit like a sock. Will Nike’s new technology bring manufacturing profitably back to the US ? As consumers move to demanding custom fit at close to current prices, will domestic manufacturing lead times provide a competitive advantage ? How will current labor intensive production capacity in China and Vietnam be redeployed ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
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