Stepping up digital efforts in purchasing could help apparel and sporting goods companies transform. A survey of sourcing executives highlights trends and opportunities. 

Sourcing executives in apparel and sporting goods are looking to digitization as a major enabler of the transformation the industry needs if it is to improve its disappointing returns, please increasingly choosy consumers, and compete with nimble start-ups. Yet, as a new McKinsey study shows, apparel remains an industry that has not yet fully embraced digital technologies. We surveyed chief purchasing officers (CPOs) from 63 of the world’s leading apparel companies, among them also many leading sporting goods players, and the majority of them rated their organizations’ digitization maturity as low or very low. They had the same view of their suppliers.

As our study makes clear, digitization must not be seen as an end in itself. Rather, it is a powerful enabler of progress in all the main drivers of future success in apparel sourcing—including the continued optimization of sourcing-country strategy, strategic supplier partnerships, better environmental and labor compliance, and a doubling down on end-to-end efficiency. Apparel and sporting goods players have a major transformation ahead of them, spanning all these elements.

In his presentation, he is going to show you how effective digitization will help you deliver that transformation faster and with much greater impact.

Karl-Hendrik co-leads McKinseys Apparel, Fashion & Luxury practice in Europe and is the author of the recent report "The apparel sourcing caravan's next stop: Digitization". For this report he and his team surveyed 63 international sourcing executives who manage approximately USD 137 billion in sourcing value. The report sheds light on the current status of digitization in the core sourcing process and along the end-to-end product-development processes. Karl-Hendrik has 15 years of experience in supporting apparel and sporting goods companies across a range of operational, commercial and strategic themes. He holds a PhD in Supply Chain Management and has studied in St. Gallen, Chapel Hill and Münster.

At this year's World Manufacturers Forum a widely ranged high-caliber keynote speaker lineup drawing from academics, automotive, consumer-goods, electronics and other sectors will present on how to be “Moving on to a digital and automated business of the future”. During the Forum, the audience will have the exclusive opportunity to subscribe for a tailormade guided tour around productronica – the world’s leading trade fair for electronics development and production, and to meet the most relevant service providers for the sporting goods industry. For more information and registration go to www.worldmanufacturersforum.org 

 

At this year's World Manufacturers Forum a widely ranged high-caliber keynote speaker lineup drawing from academics, automotive, consumer-goods, electronics and other sectors will present on how to be “Moving on to a digital and automated business of the future”. During the Forum, the audience will have the exclusive opportunity to subscribe for a tailormade guided tour around productronica – the world’s leading trade fair for electronics development and production, and to meet the most relevant service providers for the sporting goods industry. For more information and registration go to www.worldmanufacturersforum.org

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