It’s been quite a while since I finished university and, to be honest, I had almost forgotten what it feels like to sit in an auditorium with fellow students and listen to a lecture. Therefore, I was really excited to accompany Jan Brecht, CIO of the adidas Group, to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg only a few days ago. Together with two of his senior managers, Ingo Winterhoff and Christian Martin, Jan held an exceptional lecture, providing insights into “New Retail Technologies”.
Tag Archives: adidas Group
Normally, when creating a shoe, product creation teams take inspiration and general guidance from previous collections, while meeting specific current season needs. This time, we did it differently.
With the running design team, we started from the ground up and asked ourselves what exactly must be included in a shoe to make it functional and meet the athlete’s performance needs. Our approach was clear: think minimal. Include only those elements that are essential.
This is how this season’s Element Soul running shoe came to life.
In the course of this series I am meeting various successful women at the adidas Group who have successfully tackled hurdles and advanced their careers. This time I spoke to Beate Stoll, Director End User Computing at the adidas Group. I can tell you: Beate impressed me! She didn’t only impress me because she is in her current role instrumental in the creation of the Vision for the IT Workplace of the future and strategy for the adidas Group. She didn’t only do so because she has a team of 28 people located in three regions, overseeing the IT Workplace for 30,000+ employees worldwide. What impressed me even more is that Beate seems to be always open to change and brave enough to embrace it. Her motto is “change the things that you are able to change and accept the things that you can’t change but try to make the best out of it”. I find this approach very inspiring and interviewed her on various facets of change to understand what this mindset is all about.
Everyone would agree with me that good communication is key to a satisfactory work environment; with effective communication, many problems can be identified and solved before they escalate.
I have spent a total of 15 years working in the compliance area, 8 of which with the adidas Group. Based on my personal experience, and after hundreds of factory visits and assessments, I can say that one of the biggest challenges for our suppliers is to be able to ensure effective communication with all their workers.
Ever since our CEOThe Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a company is the highest-ranking corporate officer and in charge of total management of an organisation. Herbert Hainer presented in 2010 our five-year strategic business plan ‘Route 2015Route 2015 is the Strategic Business Plan for 2015 that aims at growing the business of the entire adidas Group to € 17 billion by 2015. This plan is the most comprehensive business plan the adidas Group has ever prepared, incorporating all brands, sales channels and Group functions globally. It is our road to success: our Route 2015.’, he has always been very clear about one thing: the adidas Group aims for quality growth that needs to be first and foremost sustainable. One way to foster sustainable growth is for example by investing smartly into our brands. Another way is by continuously improving efficiency. This might be achieved on an organisational level or through innovations in the supply chain: if, for example, we manage to decrease the amount of fall-out materials, we minimise cost and become more efficient. There is a lot of room for creativity to improve efficiency. Through relentlessly focusing on such initiatives, the adidas Group managed to achieve a pretty strong result in terms of its gross margin.