Manufacturing innovation and 3D printing central to Nike's growth, says CEO

By Glen White
Mike Parker, the President and CEO of popular footwear brand Nike has revealed much of its success is down to manufacturing innovation. “At the he...

Mike Parker, the President and CEO of popular footwear brand Nike has revealed much of its success is down to manufacturing innovation. “At the heart of our ability to achieve long-term growth is our unrivalled ability to innovate,” he said last week.

He said that the company’s innovations were driven by input from consumers and top athletes as well as new technological, design and material developments. Nike is committed to constantly pushing boundaries in terms of materials used, concepts tried and designs tested and this has kept it at the cutting-edge of sportswear development for many years.

These innovations include its Flyknit technology and Nike Pro and Nike Dri-Fit brands. In terms of Nike’s innovation pipeline, Parker said we can expect “new products that are better for athletes, consumers and the planet.”

Manufacturing innovation

Parker added that Nike’s ‘manufacturing innovation’ initiatives – aimed at redefining how its products are made and what they are made from – is a key focus for the business. “It’s not only a place where we can see some margin opportunity by scaling some of these innovations. They are truly, in a sense, game changing,” he said.

“We’re talking beyond Flyknit. We’re on the verge of moving some other manufacturing revolution innovations to a much larger scale. So there’s opportunity there,” he continued.

Manufacturing innovations and improvements are allowing the company to improve product performance while saving time and money. “We’ve got a steady flow of innovations beyond Flyknit to speed up our manufacturing, to make the whole process of manufacturing more efficient, more sustainable, and offset some of those higher input costs. Specifically 3D printing, that has tremendous opportunity for us,” said Parker.

Parker is determined to continue focusing on innovation to place Nike at the “forefront” of 3D printing potential. 

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