Lars Sørensen, COO

2016 saw continued investments into better and faster collections, into our organisation, as well as our distribution and our IT infrastructure. All of these initiatives enable us to pursue our company mission: to become the Fastest Sports Brand in the World.

Led by Chief Operating Officer Lars Sørensen, PUMA’s Global Operations department comprises product develop- ment, sourcing, trading and logistics activi- ties as well as the group’s IT and Business Solutions functions. By means of smooth interaction of all these functions, PUMA manages to provide commercial products at the best price and quality and at the right time.

Thanks to the continuous optimisation of PUMA’s systems, processes and strategy over the past two years, 2016 gave testa- ment to many improvements in terms of a better and more agile supply chain. For example, we increased speed in respond- ing to market needs as part of our rapid-re- sponse buying programme, and we mas- tered the innovative, yet – from a sourcing perspective – special designs and cre- ations of Rihanna, without compromising on our high-quality standards.

Agility Drivers for an Improved Supply Chain

Through a differentiation of our supply chain based on the wide range of products manu- factured by our suppliers around the world, we improved our capability to better cater for and fulfil the specific needs of our business. Moving closer to our suppliers  by  locat- ing more employees in product operation centres (POCs) close to our factories has allowed us to enable faster  decision-mak- ing and to benefit from stronger synergies with our partners. In addition, the integration of our Sustainability team into our buying organisation has brought a closer alignment with our supply chain and helped to estab- lish sustainability as a key element of our day-to-day business.

Our strong emphasis on local-for-local production in countries such as India and Mexico will enable us to better respond to the needs of key markets. In terms of dis- tribution, implementing a new and highly automated warehouse solution in the United States and relocating to a safer and more modern warehouse in Mexico have started to show better service-level results for those key markets.

Faster Business Processes through Faster Business Solutions

In 2016, PUMA’s Business Solutions team focused on three main areas, which enabled the implementation of faster business processes and IT systems: (1) to further implement PUMA’s end-to-end trading setup, (2) to further optimise our design, development and planning processes, and (3) to further improve PUMA’s IT infrastructure.

PUMA International Trading (PIT):
2016 saw further improvements in our PUMA International Trading Environment, enhancing capabilities through simplification and automation to even better fulfil the needs of our sales subsidiaries and their customers.

Design, Development and Planning:
The toolbox approach initiated in 2015 has enabled us to service fast-moving market segments very efficiently. In 2016 we took first steps in implementing more advanced product management tools – a road that will continue into 2017.

IT Foundation:
2016 saw further rollouts to build an improved and standardised global IT foundation to allow for faster and better communication and exchange of information. It was also the year that yielded full benefits of the new Microsoft environment, now fully enabling our global workforce to engage from anywhere in the world at any given time.

Looking Ahead…

In 2017, we are continuing to build on the strong foundation set during the past years and further establish ourselves as a fast and flexible service organisation fully capable to respond to market needs.