Kontoor’s Evolving Global Supply Chain

By: Kontoor Brands News Team Aug 23, 2021 Feature Story Tags: Product, Kontoor

As a part of Investor Day held earlier this summer, Karen Smith, EVP of Global Supply Chain, discussed how Kontoor’s Global Supply Chain has a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace.

During her presentation, Karen elaborated on three areas of focus for Kontoor Brands’ long-term Supply Chain strategy – all of which fuel an overall competitive advantage. They include:

  • Implementing a balanced approach to owned manufacturing;
  • Working with vendors to improve service and agility; and
  • Putting tools and automated processes in place to increase productivity, bringing great products to market even faster.

By putting these areas of focus into practice, in 2019, Kontoor Brands produced more than 160 million garments, 60 percent of which were sourced and 40 percent of which were produced in Kontoor’s owned and operated manufacturing facilities in the Western Hemisphere.

Kontoor’s differentiated Supply Chain model is elevated by advanced manufacturing processes and technology platforms, allowing teams to better meet consumer demand while servicing accounts and consumers. For example, new Supply Chain innovations allow the production and delivery of denim jackets in less than three weeks compared to 20 weeks when sourced from Asia.

While speed to market is crucial for brands of Kontoor’s size and scale, equal attention is paid to quality and sustainability. In her presentation, Karen shared another key aspect of Kontoor’s competitive advantage by spotlighting state-of-the-art technology, including how we use water.

“Our wash process allows us to significantly reduce our environmental impact as our facilities use 90 percent of recycled water, bringing fresh water use close to zero,” she said. “This supports our sustainability goal of saving 10 billion liters of water by 2025.” Also, with the help of laser finishing, Kontoor can process a garment 40 percent faster without producing harsh chemicals.

The tools and technologies being put in place are a significant advantage for Kontoor Brands. At its core is a strong responsible sourcing platform allowing employees to focus on four pillars of work: worker rights & safety; product stewardship; environmental sustainability; and worker and community development. Furthermore, a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform acts as a single source of clean, global data and processes.

Most notably, these areas of focus equip Kontoor to move toward a more synchronized, data-driven Global Supply Chain that can identify and respond to consumer and customer demands. Owned manufacturing processes, an evolved vendor ecosystem and new tools and technologies pave the way for more agility and flexibility in our supply chain, continuing to reduce lead times, improve speed to market and furthering our ESG initiatives.

To learn more about Kontoor’s best in class Supply Chain, visit: https://www.kontoorbrands.com/about/supply-chain