Identifying the Business Requirements: New Balance Shoes

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Identifying the Business Requirements New Balance had a problem. Nike owned the lion’s share of the athletic shoe market and no one could touch them. New Balance was also behind Adidas and Reebok, but something happened in the last two years that changed everything.
Nike also had a problem. They had gotten so big that customer relations became a low priority. Nike controlled the market and dictated supply and demand to even their biggest customers. Consumer input was ignored and requests for special orders of customer demand products were met with indifference. Nike gave and Nike took away, at their discretion, to reward or punish retailers for Nike’s benefit. Then along came New Balance, who six years ago was almost out
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It 's Jim Tompkins, president of New Balance. "Is your forecast right?" he asks. "Where are the orders to back it up? Why did those orders slip another month? What are you going to do to get back on plan today?"
This isn 't how you expected your week to start. But the personal attention isn 't unique today—Tompkins is calling every salesman whose top account has fallen behind on purchases. The source of his omniscience: The "Top Accounts ' ' report, an update distributed at noon every Monday that gives New Balance managers a clear-eyed look at sales figures for the past, present, and forecasted future. "The salespeople have nowhere to hide," says sales planning manager Teresa Holland, who is responsible for making sure the company 's forecasts are accurate, both in the United States and in foreign markets. She smiles as she remembers that Monday in July, the day her software project changed the way New Balance executives run the company.
Sales and Sales Management Production Tools
Tompkins and other top managers at the company 's headquarters in Boston, Mass., can now view a finely detailed report for each style of shoe in New Balance 's lineup: the to-date sales for the year and month for each major retailer that New Balance serves; the sales of that shoe (or its predecessor) for the same period last year at that retailer; the orders for that retailer that have yet to be filled by New Balance 's factory or warehouse; and what

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