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The "blue line" is the fastest and most strategic path to the finish line during a race. Brooks Sports takes a "blue line" approach to the supply chain. Brooks Sports provides high performance running shoes, apparel and accessories for runners of all levels. The company's mission: to inspire people to run and be active. Brooks' running gear is designed to help people run longer, farther, faster, and with more enjoyment of the running experience.
Brooks made a strategic change in 2000, focusing on high quality product and delivering best in class customer service. So when Brooks uses terms such as active, agile, farther, faster, and flexible, they're not just talking about running shoes - often, they're talking about their supply chain. Brooks Sports runs one of the most advanced sourcing operations in the athletic footwear and apparel industry. An agile supply chain enables the company to not only source from regions offering the most advanced production capabilities, but also strategically react to shifts in production expertise. By teaming up with TradeCard, Brooks has found a strategic benefit through automation of its sourcing operations and synchronization of physical and financial aspects of the supply chain.
In 2000 Brooks re-invented itself by shifting its target market towards the serious runner. Brooks began selling through specialty stores and sales picked up. By 2004, Brooks was in the midst of an intense growth period and the company sought a strategy for maintaining growth and easing pressure on the supply chain.
When TradeCard approached Brooks in April of 2004, the global trade automation provider identified inefficiencies in supply chain operations and supplier connectivity, including:
Â· Insufficient agility and visibility into supply chain partners
Â· Paper intensive operations for handling transactions
Â· Lack of consistent processes and enforcement across apparel, footwear, and international operations
Â· Overlap: multiple people and groups checking and rechecking the same data and documents
Â· Limited visibility into multiple facets of transactions
Â· Lags in communication and data delivery
Â· Lack of true audit trails or history of transaction changes and reasons
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