New Balance Athletic Shoe

By Larry Barrett  |  Posted 2003-11-01 Print this article Print

New Balance had nearly faded into irrelevance six years ago. Then, accurately forecasting demand for its shoes became a sport for the entire company and its retailing partners. Now it's making up ground quickly, in its footrace with Nike.

Base Case"> New Balance Athletic Shoe Base Case

Headquarters: 20 Guest St., Boston, MA 02135

Phone: (617) 783-4000

Business: The second-largest maker of running shoes in the U.S. and third-largest maker of all types of athletic shoes of all types. Manufactures a wide range of shoes for male and female athletes, as well as Dunham boots, PF Flyers "casual footwear," athletic apparel and accessories.

Chief Information Officer: Elaine Ritchie, Director of Information Services

Financials: $1.3 billion in sales in 2002. Privately held.

Challenge: Maintain rapid growth and take more market share from top competitors Nike, Reebok and Adidas—without disrupting manufacturing and warehouse operations.

Baseline Goals:
  • Increase monthly sales-forecast reporting from less than 20% of North American
    sales force to 100%.
  • Improve on-time order servicing to major retailers by 10%.
  • Reduce excess stock from discontinued styles of shoes by 8%.
  • Spread collaborative sales-forecasting system throughout international

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    Senior Writer
    Larry, of San Carlos, Calif., was a senior writer and editor at CNet, writing analysis, breaking news and opinion stories. He was technology reporter at the San Jose Business Journal from 1996-1997. He graduated with a B.A. from San Jose State University where he was also executive editor of the daily student newspaper.

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