Sunday, February 7, 2016

New IT for Under Armour's "Project Glory"

The nationally successful company with a Baltimore base, Under Armour, has recently started what they like to call Project Glory. In the past years, production has moved out of the United States for the search of low-cost labor. The project Under Armour has been working on shows that through innovation and technology, manufacturing products in the U.S. and selling them in the U.S. can bring in profit, more so than producing them overseas from where the product is being sold. The basis Project Glory is for Under Armour products to be made closer to the markets where they’re sold (in the U.S. for U.S buyers, in Europe for European consumers, etc.).
One of the main points that I think are extremely important to this project is the strategy they are developing to allow them to step beyond mass-production and let the company provide customers with products tailored to them. The goal they are setting tries for a “local for local” approach which I think will drastically improve customer satisfaction as well as efficiency. They use technology to plan out what will help customers, and their company. Their goal is to use advanced manufacturing to achieve a smaller scale production. Another main point of the article which I think is key to the success of this project is the technology they are developing to carry out their strategy. The advanced IT will “reduce lead times, time in transit, so the consumer gets what they want more quickly, more efficiently, and gets better products” (Haley, Under Armour employee). Products that are made overseas take weeks to ship and get to the consumer, so I think that a locally based production strategy and the technology that effectually manufactures Under Armour products pertaining to the customers’ needs. Another point that the article discusses that I think was important was not only how this project will help Under Armour, but how it will help the local communities they set up production in. They emphasize that they will create jobs in the areas they manufacture and help the communities greatly. Under Armour has been using technology to make careful decisions about where is best to produce, how to produce, and what to produce for the highest customer satisfaction. 
Something that the article did not discuss was the cost differences of producing locally. It would be good to know if they would keep the same level of profits or if local production would raise the cost of manufacturing. Another point that was overlooked was the exact robotics and IT used to execute their plan. We know that they are using technology to tailor products to the customers needs and to modify production, but they didn’t go into detail how they are doing it. And a last point I would have liked to read about is the timeline for this project. We don’t know when they will launch their new factories and production strategy, and when they are planning on starting production. Overall, the article was informative and Project Glory seems like it will be a success.

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