As we have learned in class, there are many aspects that affect the making of a product. Companies are always working on improving their products, while at the same time trying to reduce their production costs. Nike is one out of many companies that is trying to achieve both with their newest invention, a shoe called the “Flyknit”.
For a long time now Nike has been working on achieving the request to “make shoes as comfortable as socks”. While they have been unsuccessful in the past, their new discovery is considered by Nike “the Holy Grail —a 5.6-ounce running shoe called the Flyknit, made from synthetic yarn ingeniously woven together by a knitting machine”. While the new product could possible be their biggest seller, the executives of Nike are more exited about the manufacturing of the product. The new computer controlled weaving technology “promises to cut labor costs and production time while also increasing profit margins and opportunities for personalization”. The new process eliminates the part that is most labor intensive, and knits the upper part of the shoe in one piece. It also provides some customization options that can alter a shoe’s stability and aesthetics. Due to the new and improved process, the “Flyknit” has fewer pieces to assemble and also fits in with Nike’s sustainability push, because it uses a lot less waste in comparison to the popular Air Pegasus+ 28. It is so efficient that eventually these shoes could be made all around the world and maybe even bring back some of the work to US. At this point, 96 percent of Nike’s shoes are being made outside the US in countries that have lower labor costs. I think now, since Nike has figured out a new and more efficient way of making shoes, they should work on where to manufacture. While the company is saving money on the production by outsourcing, at the same time they are facing time issues of getting the product out in the market. If they would be able to reduce the amount of time that it takes for a product to get to the store, they would be more successful at filling their demand faster.
What do you think about Nike’s new and improved manufacturing process?
What are some other ways that the new technology could be beneficial?