Adidas finally told the truth and gave Chinese shoe factories and workers a reassuring pill.
Guangzhou Beililai Children's Shoes Factory
In recent years, Adidas's automation plant and the withdrawal of parts of China's production lines from Germany have become a hot topic in the footwear industry. Recently, however, Adidas finally told the truth. This has given Asian factories and workers a reassuring pill and slapped Trump in the face.
Return of shoemaking industry is just fantasy
Kasper Rorsted, chief executive of Adidas, said that Asia's deep-based supply chains had made the prospect of manufacturing returning to automation plants in developed countries a fantasy.
Rothschild said, "Why are you making it in China? Because of the size of China's market, you want to enter this market quickly. I don't care about jobs in China. We have been net creators of jobs in China, but these jobs will change over time.
He said that Asian factories would be more automated, but some of the 120 processes involved in the production of Adidas shoes remained stubbornly "resistant" to automation. "The biggest challenge for the shoemaking industry is to create robots that lace shoes," Rothschild said. I'm not kidding. This is still a completely manual process today. No technology can do that."
The shoemaking industry will meet in five to ten years, and it will not be able to achieve full automation.
SpeedFactory is an experiment and attempt of future technology, which helps to meet the needs of some niche markets, but its output is limited and does not have an absolute impact on the production pattern.
According to European news reports, Adidas, a German sporting goods manufacturer, announced that it would withdraw some Chinese production lines from SpeedFactory, a German smart concept factory.
Kasper Rorsted explained, "First of all, it's wrong to say that production goes back to Germany; moreover, in terms of production, Adidas produced 360 million pairs of shoes in 2016, which is equivalent to 1 million pairs per day.
Footwear production is expected to reach 380-400 million this year. So the production capacity of SpeedFactory in Germany is about 1 million pairs of shoes a year, in other words, only 0.2% of the annual sales, that is to say, the annual production is equivalent to the global one-day sales.
In Kasper Rorsted's view, "It doesn't matter quantitatively. At present, 80% to 90% of the shoes sold worldwide are produced in Asia, and this proportion will not change in the near future. Even though there are some new production in Germany, it is not significant enough to have an absolute impact on the pattern of our production.
Automated factories, mainly to shorten supply chain time
It is understood that SpeedFactory will help Adidas completely transform the traditional production mode.
In the past, it took 18 months for a pair of shoes to be prototyped and put on the shelf, but three-quarters of them entered the promotion stage in less than a year.
SpeedFactory's greatest strength is to shorten the supply chain time, once the shoe design is completed, it may be on the shelf in less than a week or even a day. Kasper Rorsted said that in terms of improving the speed of the supply chain, he hoped to achieve two goals:
"First, if a product sells well, Adidas can have enough capacity to quickly organize reproduction, replenishment and put into the market.
Secondly, with this rapid production process and material preparation, we can launch multiple rounds of products in one season, which can better and faster respond to market demand.