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“They [Demand Solutions] wanted to get hands on and learn our business to help with a successful implementation. They achieved that, and we are very pleased with the results. We think it will help us keep our fill rates at 99 or 100 percent, and that is our goal. We are very, very pleased with our progress.”

Joe Epstein, VP of Supply Chain

Supply Chain Challenges for Sporting Goods Manufacturers

When Everlast sells pink boxing gloves through Bed, Bath and Beyond to support cancer research, you know something has changed in sporting goods manufacturing. It has become a fashion business.

As fashion-focused firms, sporting goods manufacturers must contend with spikes in fashions, changes in color preferences, and the need to stock a full assortment of sizes ranging from 'tween cheerleaders to beefy linebackers. In addition, there’s pressure to fill orders from large retailers on time with the right products, and to keep enough safety stock and allow enough safety time in case of unusual weather.

Everlast uses Demand Solutions to support a consumer products supply chain that stretches from China, Mexico, and Israel on the supply end to sporting goods specialists such as Modell's and big box stores such as Kmart, Dick's, and Sears on the retail end.

"The larger the retailer, the more demanding it is in fill-rates and merchandising. It becomes much more critical that we accurately forecast demand," Everlast’s supply chain vice president told Demand Solutions. "My job is getting more complicated, which is why we are implementing new tools that will give us the visibility we need."

With the credit crunch, the pressure is on forecasters to meet demand while keeping inventory lean so that the company doesn't tie up scarce cash in warehouses.

Mizuno, the Osaka, Japan sporting goods company that offers products ranging from volleyball outfits to high-end Major League Baseball bats and gloves, aims to build its American business on its baseball success, according to Businessweek.

"We will fight with gloves and spikes," says Hideki Tsuruoka, director of Mizuno's baseball division, who played baseball at the University of Washington. While headquarters does the strategy, supply chain and inventory managers have to deliver the product.

Mizuno relies on Demand Solutions.

Consumer Products Supply Chain Management Solutions

With Demand Solutions supply chain planning software, sporting goods manufacturers can:

  • Generate, manage, and collaborate on reliably accurate forecasts
  • Analyze sales history and forecasts in units, revenues, margin, or any other unit of measure
  • Automatically respond to seasonality, shifting growth trends, and product mix transitions
  • Objectively manage new product introductions
  • Forecast by SKU at the customer level and summarize in total by SKU, customer, sales channel, region, product family, supplier, and more
  • Keep score. Track, report, and systematically improve forecast accuracy and customer service performance
  • Manage product lifecycle transitions from season to season
  • Shape up your supply chain with time-phased visibility into forecasts, inventories, customer orders, and in-transit goods
  • Generate sourcing plans that keep inventories in sync with ever-changing forecasts and static capacity constraints
  • Drive an effective sales and operations planning process


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