New Balance: Precise Shoe Fitting for Customers

Topics: Supply chain management, Marketing, Management Pages: 1 (458 words) Published: April 12, 2015
New Balance, founded in 1906, has always focused on providing the precise fitting shoe for customers. Although it lags behind their primary competitors, Nike and Reebok, in terms of market share, the  company has been very successful. The key to its’ success is twofold. First, instead of focusing on snazzy marketing to build brand equity, it focuses on building the brand through the quality of the product. By providing the perfect width sizing and fit, New Balances’ shoes speak for themselves as a product, providing organic growth in brand recognition. Customers’ tend to stay with New Balance, preferring the perfect fit of their shoes. This form of product differentiation will always give them an edge on their competitors, who tend to focus on expensive marketing programs to push their shoes. Second, it differentiates from its’ competitors through its’ supply chain. New Balances’ supply chain is fluid, able to provide specific sizes and types of shoes almost immediately. It does this by producing the main modular parts of many shoes in Asia, and then assembling the final shoe in America. This enables New Balance to provide a desired type or fit of shoe much faster than their competitors, while at the same time keeping manufacturing costs low. It also maintains its’ distributors’ inventories constantly while ensuring that there is never too much inventory, and never a shortage. Consequently, it have kept distributors’ loyal, and have boosted demand from other distributors for its’ products. In short, New Balance’s optimized supply chain, and its’ focus on individual customers, has kept them in business and competitive. New Balance has continually improved their supply chain, focusing on providing their shoes in an progressively decreasing timeframe to their distributors. It recently implemented the New Balance Executional Excellence (NB2E) manufacturing protocol, modelled on Toyota’s successful production process. The goal of the process is, according to the CEO,...
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