Footwear brand Crocs recently took part in a webinar with Supply Chain Now’s Scott Luton to discuss the benefits of using Infor(R) Nexus Factory Management to improve supply chain operations and “save a ton of money”. Featuring Infor’s Jon Runkel and Chris Thorndike from Crocs, we highlight the key messages and insights from an hour of lively chat and the post-event Q&A.
The Crocs' story in a changing world
Celebrating 20 years of a footwear revolution, the Crocs brand is globally famous and still ambitious, aiming for $5 billion in revenue in 2026. The company has expanded from 6 to 600-plus styles and colors, and with the $2.5 billion acquisition of Hey Dude shoes in 2021 operates across a more complex business environment.
Supporting growth and meeting challenges
Chris Thorndike, Croc’s Director of Global Capacity Planning, and his teams were drowning in manual processes and paperwork through much of the company’s history. That changed with efforts to digitize the supply chain, procurement to pay, and create a digital twin of their processes.
The results of that process, with the adoption of Infor Nexus saw payment cycle times reduced from 26 days to half a day, making suppliers a lot happier and eager to do more business. The company’s paper trail was eradicated, and past due amounts were cut from $12 million to just $.5 million, with broad savings across applications payable.
Infor’s Jon Runkel noted that Crocs’ efforts were based on a solid foundation that made it easy to digitize services, with speedy no-touch payments, highlighting that digitization enabled Crocs to scale at a phenomenal rate without the need to add headcount.
Pushing toward the all-digital future
Crocs is looking to move to a more global footing with less reliance on China, having grown from less than 10 suppliers to 20 in a few years. Digitization and automation help them plug in new suppliers and factories as they come online, expanding the product portfolio faster, and freeing up the company’s teams to handle higher-value tasks.
Infor Nexus Factory Management supports the business through packaging, labor requirements, standardizing supply chain processes, and streamlining receiving processes, with visibility benefits for Crocs and their suppliers.
Automation helps Crocs eliminate huge numbers of phone calls, emails, and other communications across their processes. Collaboration is also improved, with the latest process change working to eliminate Crocs’ massive spreadsheets and manual data entry that the company relies on. Order collaboration eliminates those and many emails.
The power of long-term relationships
Chris Thorndike also focused on the need for strong relations between the business and solution providers like Infor. It needs to be a long-term relationship with people you can trust (as with suppliers and factories) and not a short-term solution to just one problem.
The scope of engagement, focusing on people, process, and technology, is vital to understand the business and transforming processes into automated systems, the only way to deliver growth and efficiency, delivering value to the business and partners.
From Infor’s perspective, the relationship (and the transformation journey) means knowing the market and the business of the supply chain, turning up when things break, adding features that are needed, and being there to help through problems, always looking for other efficiencies.
For all the detail and more insights, go check out the Webinar, to find out how the supply chain became not boring and the impact of COVID on major brands.
After the webinar…
How many times are you on a call or webinar when everyone hangs up at the conclusion, leaving a dead silence for questions? Not with Supply Chain Now, who had a keen audience full of good queries that went on beyond the call, we share some of the highlights.
What would you say was the one significant factor that spurred this growth and made this impact change possible?
Our original drive to partner with Infor Nexus was purely cost savings and ease of doing business. The kick-off of P2P was not an easy implementation, as it involves complex business processes, but the success of P2P & Factory Management has proven Infor Nexus as a valuable partner to continue to expand within their product offerings.
Can you talk about the lessons learned from the eInvoice implementation (pros/cons)?
Recognizing P2P is complex, involving finance, accounting and operational teams internally, as well as your supply base. Buy-in internally to a project of this extent is critical to avoid false starts.
Did that reduction in payment cycle time have any impact on your demand latency?
Demand latency was not directly impacted by the reduction of the payment cycle, but our supplier relationships were dramatically improved with the more predictive cycle implemented.
Complexity can really drive supply chain costs. Did this initiative have a bigger impact on COGS or SG&A costs?
Strategically what do you think Crocs tries to lead on and what do you try to differentiate your business? The impact of the Infor Nexus P2P, Factory Management & Order Collab has had an impact on both COGS & SG&A, but ultimately these are very difficult to quantify. The major impact is on scalability.
Wrapping up, consider the final thoughts of TEKTOK’s Karin Bursa, “They’re competing as a network now, not just as Crocs. A network of dedicated trading partners, that are helping to fuel that growth, that are helping to put that infrastructure and growth in place.”
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