Operation and supply chain management is a very important business function which remains to be a vital field of study in the corporate and academic world. Operations can simply be defined as the transformation of inputs to outputs. What is important to note is the fact that the manner in which this process of transformation is managed dictates both the profitability and the efficiency of a given company. Supply chain management is the operation management’s field which is concerned with how services, products, and information flows from the supply chain partners, enterprise, and customers. So as to successfully coordinate this complex operation, companies have to reduce cost, maintain and improve the quality of output, effectively manage their processes and human resources and lastly look for innovative ways to stay competitive in the global marketplace which is very dynamic. Social responsibility is a way in which a company can remain competitive by providing guidance to the business to engage in its activities while being sensitive to both environmental and social issues.
Nike is an apparel manufacturer of iconic footwear with operations in more than 180 nations. Nike’s revenue as of 2013 was $25.4 billion. Additionally, over 990,000 workers are employed by Nike in its 719 factories in over 45 countries all around the globe. Schifrin et al (2013) claims that Nike is the leading manufacturer and distributor of sports equipment and athletic apparel. The name Nike comes from the Greek goddess of victory while the company’s slogan is “Just do it” (Wisner, 2016).
We can do it today.
Nike is an organization which has encountered many challenges in their global supply chains and for this, it provides insights into the exploration of tools and concepts utilized in the effective management of operations. Additionally, the company has been committed to transparency in terms of social responsibility and this can be seen where it was named as the leading company in the United States and among the top ten companies in the Sustainability Global Reporters Program.
The manner in which Nike approaches social responsibility is by pushing itself towards higher and higher performance. This goes further than just improving on what they do but working for the best, developing value for their operations and being innovative to guarantee a better world. The company focuses the efforts of social responsibility in the areas in which they believe creates the most value and the biggest impact. The Nike Foundation seeks to positively impact energy, climate, communities, water, and wastes, all of which are insight-driven.
The company’s supply chain starts where their manufactures source the input so as to produce the final product. It is clear that Nike has very little or no control over the manufacturing process or even procurement since it outsources its manufacturing. To reduce cost while improving efficiency, the company should make considerations of acquiring its suppliers. When it comes to the type of production process utilized by the company, the major manufacturing process for Nike is the vertically integrated model for the production of sportswear (Lu et al., 2017).
If I had an interview with the company, I would ask three questions which would be critical in understanding how efficiently the company sees to it that their operations run effectively. These questions include: (1) How efficient is your work design and Human Resources? (2) Have you considered supply chain optimization and automation? (3) What is your preferred form of inventory management?
- Lu, X., Liu, H. W., & Rahman, M. (2017). The impact of corporate social responsibility on customer loyalty: a case of Nike and Adidas in China. Strategic Change.
- Schifrin, D., Carroll, G., & Brady, D. (2013). Nike: Sustainability and Labor Practices 1998– 2013. Case Study, Stanford Graduate School of Business.
- Wisner, J. D. (2016). Operations Management: A Supply Chain Process Approach. Sage Publications.