Understand the nature of the business, the industry and key competitors. ECCO has a unique competitive environment and holds a distinct advantage from it's competitors. Most of ECCO's competitors are "branded marketers", who do not produce most of their offerings, they brand and market them. These competitors include Clarks, Geox, and Timberland, along with indirect competitors such as Nike and Adidas. ECCO is not a branded marketer, but uses a fully integrated vertical value chain where they produce many of their own materials. ECCO makes nearly all of their own products in different countries, but in their own facilities unlike competitors.
ECCO produces high-quality footwear that is mainly in the casual category. In the last decade, ECCO has entered the golf shoe market which has gained them one large competitor in Nike. ECCO used its superior technology in production to maintain a higher level of quality over its competitors. The many aspects of their production adds quality to their shoes that made creating a similar shoe very hard for competitors.
Changes in the industry can be met by ECCO more efficiently than their competitors because they produce their own supply. If a major change takes place, they can simply stop producing a current item, instead of having to cancel outsourcing contracts like their competitors. Close competitor Clarks at one time had many plants in the United Kingdom but has closed all but one to cut labor costs. With producing their own material, ECCO is prepared better than their competitors to adapt to changes in the industry. Understand the organisation culture and/or structure.
ECCO's value chain is spread out through several countries. They have tanneries in the Netherlands, Indonesia, and Thailand. ECCO uses over one million cows each year for the leather used for their shoes . They were able to gain the expertise from an acquired tannery in the Netherlands and a leather research center in Denmark. Because of these...
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