here's a paper i wrote on salomon a couple years ago
Francois Salomon, his wife Jeanne and their son George started a small workshop in 1947 in France. In this shop is where they created the first pair of Salomon skis. In 1952 George Salomon invented automatic machines to help them produce higher quality skis. Ten years after that almost every house in France had a pair of Salomon skis inside. Toward the end of the sixties the company pushed the limits of ski technology even further, creating the first releasable bindings. In 1979 Salomon is introduced to the stock market of Lyon. In 1991 Salomon diversified its line up of products and moved into fields outside of skiing. The first new product released was a hiking boot. Salomon then acquired the Italian shoemaker, Sangiorgio. But footwear was not enough for the ambitious minds behind the company. With the acquisition of the French cycle company Mavic, they entered the new world of bicycles. In 1995 snowboard clothing maker Bonfire also fell under the mighty Salomon wing. In 1997 they opened up their snow-sports line up to making snowboards, and snowboard equipment, they also began making skiboards (short twin-tipped skis under 99cm).
Perhaps the biggest sporting good merger in history occurred in 1998. This was the year when Salomon and Adidas joined forces. Adidas was already the leading sports company in Europe and the second in the world. Although Adidas is such a superpower Salomon remains to keep its own unique identity. In order to do this they marketed themselves as a �Freedom Action Sports� company, offering high quality sporting goods for mainly non-mainstream sports.
Today the Salomon Corporation makes a variety of sporting good products. In the snowboard category they produce snowboards, bindings, boots, bags and packs, helmets and snowskates. Salomon�s alpine ski line up is possibly the best out there. From racing skis to twin tipped �trick skis� their products are second to none. They also make ski boots and bindings. Nordic skis are also another ski product from Salomon. In addition to their snow sports line up they also make inline skates, their new 2003 line up will include freeskate�s for tooling around town, trainer skates for off snow Nordic and off ice speed skate training, and street skates for performing tricks such as grinding and spins. Salomon also makes plenty of outdoor products including shoes, hiking boots, sandals and a variety of high performance outerwear. Hitting the links? Well good ole� Salomon has got you covered, they also own Taylormade golf clubs.
The major demographic of consumers that are interested in Salomon are males aged 18-40. Keep in mind that this is only a target market; people of all ages can use and enjoy all of the Salomon products. Because they make adventure sports equipment the need for these products is very minimal in older generations; Most 75 year olds don�t snowboard. But, because they make high quality premium equipment their products don�t come cheap. Most upper-class males in their 20�s and 30�s can use and more importantly afford their equipment. Another huge market for their sales is the ski and snowboard rental industry. Alone they make up more than 55% of their snow sports sales. A major reason for this large number is their sales technique. When they sell a rental shop skis, the skis need bindings. Enter the Salomon binding department, outfitting all of the skis and snowboards with bindings. Almost everyone renting skis needs boots too. Yep, Salomon supplies the boots as well. Their strategy for rental sales has been very lucrative, selling the whole package rather than one or two components.
Salomon Sports Inc. operates on an international level. Selling products throughout the world is what has helped them reach the level that they are at today. Because Salomon was started in France they have deep European roots. In fact the U.S. only makes up for thirty percent of their total sales.
Most of their products are made in Europe, but they also manufacture in the United Sates as well. Most products are made by machine and mass produced. Salomon has a very intense research and development process. Their four-step process for product development begins with world-class athletes. The athletes� suggestions, recommendations and new equipment ideas provide the inspiration and challenges that drive Salomon�s next stages of advanced materials research and development, innovative design and construction. Only athletes who are constantly pursuing their own limits help push the limits of apparel and equipment design and technology. Members of Salomon Climbing, Ski-Snowboard and Endurance Teams give constant feedback on the clothing and equipment they depend on for survival. They hear from their athletes through gear evaluation forms and regular athlete input sessions. The athletes often recommend an innovation that is outside the bounds of existing technology. The Salomon research, design and development teams accept the challenge and turn to the laboratory for new fabrics and components. They partner with the world's leading materials innovators to engineer the technically advanced fabrics needed to develop clothing and equipment that meets our high standards. For example, Salomon, in conjunction with W.L. Gore, created the concept and played a predominant role in the launch of PacLite, the most compressible, lightest weight Gore-Tex shell fabric available - weighing only 3.2 ounces per yard. By adhering this new Gore-Tex laminate to their proprietary, extremely lightweight nylon substrate, Salomon succeeded in creating a shell material perfectly suited for the extreme lightweight requirements demanded by high-altitude expeditions.
Exploring the frontiers of technology for better fabrics and components is only the beginning of the life cycle of a new piece of gear. Teams of designers and fabric technicians must turn those revolutionary raw materials into gear that maximizes an athlete's ability to survive and succeed in the most severe weather conditions.
A good example of this is their Devil's Thumb Jacket. In order to create the super-lightweight Devil's Thumb Jacket for athlete expeditions, the product development team needed to find a weight saving alternative to pit zips(zippers under the arm pits). The solution -- core vents, diagonally zippered vent openings on the jacket's chest. These adjustable vents allow the user to regulate heat and moisture from the body's core simply by zipping or unzipping them, while at the same time minimizing the overall weight of the jacket. The response to this innovation was so great that they incorporated it throughout many of the styles in their current line.
Salomon saves the most critical step in their product development process for last. In addition to subjecting products to a tortuous battery of laboratory tests, they send their apparel and equipment on extended athlete expeditions to learn how new products perform under the true test of the grueling outdoors. After receiving feedback, the research and development team refines each product until it receives approval from their world-class athletic team.
Currently they have mass produced the world�s first twin tip ski. This new ski allows rides to ski backwards, take off from jumps backwards and land backwards. This was after they made skiboards a huge success. They have been noted for developing the revolutionary new �skin� clothing system. Its new Second Skin technology and apparel with its youthful, innovative looks will surely attract riders. 'With the launch of Advanced Skin last year, Salomon successfully introduced a young, innovative apparel line that stands apart from the traditional outdoor apparel crowd,' explains Troy Ballard, director of soft goods for Salomon North America. 'In year two, we�ve refined the line and added progressive design elements while maintaining the technical performance that people expect from Salomon.'
Designed for the ultimate freeride athlete, Salomon apparel continues to mesh highly innovative engineering with contemporary flair. The Soft Technical Layer is a highly breathable soft-shell collection of jackets and pants that feature innovative Swiss-made Schoeller WB-400 fabrics. First Skin has an expanded collection of base layer clothing featuring X-static, an innovative fiber with antibacterial properties that reduces odor retention. Extended First Skin has a collection of clothing featuring Windstopper Next To Skin that provides versatility and convenience previously unavailable in technical apparel. Advanced Skin Shell System provides the ultimate all-weather solution for the 10 percent of the time freeriders need a fully waterproof outer layer. Voice features functional sweatshirts, tops, jackets, pants and skirts and offers a technical layering alternative with smooth lines and a softer feel that are driven by performance elements. Salomon�s color options for next winter is unusual, with creative names. It ranges from space (black), hide (tan/khaki/yellow mix), cerulean (bluish/gray) and stratos (navy blue), to the brighter cane (white), 1976 (deep red, named after the best year in France for Bordeaux wine), hot dog (bright mustard yellow) and methanol (electric blue). In the new line, Salomon also introduces a new print derived from satellite photographs of New York City named, l-blend.
�Salomon believes that most people quit skiing because of painful boots. By
introducing its new Verse series ($340-$385), the company hopes to keep those skiers in the sport. As easy on the feet as. well, a pair of snowboard boots, the Verse achieves its sublime level of comfort by using two materials in the shell: a soft synthetic at the instep and a rigid plastic chassis for support. And by replacing the lower two buckles with a single-pull lacing system, this footwear makes putting on flip-flops seem like hassle.�(Miracle, Skiing) Also Salomon has plans to improve its binding systems. �Salomon introduces two new concepts, one with the focus on reducing risk of injury to the knee, called Spheric, and Propulse, an energy-boosting binding which moves in on the Suspension's old territory. The big story at Salomon is Spheric, a new technology developed specifically to address the forces created when the boot twists against
the binding in a forward, twisting 'roll-out' release. Studies conducted by Salomon and several independent researchers pointed to a connection between roll-out forces on the binding (with an attendant increased torque on the ski) and an increased risk of injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. Lab tests designed to simulate roll-out loads show that Spheric is able to almost completely eliminate any increase in release values in a roll-out fall configuration.� (Hogen, Snow Country Business)
Salomon was the first ski company to use CAD software. They use the software to develop the general shape of the skis; it also allows them to design the side cut of the ski at the base, the upper width distribution at the top face, and the thickness distribution for the basic curves of the ski. Developing different sizes of skis presents another engineering challenge. The solution is what they call their CADDS 5 Parametrics. The module lets engineers define basic curves and other dimensions of the ski for a beginning model. To design other sizes they only need to enter a few dimensions and the computer software automatically designs the new size design. �It saved us at least 50% in time; something that is very important as we grow and increase or models� says senior Engineer at Salomon, Jacques LaCroix. Salomon also utilities this type of software to make almost everything else in their line including: boots, bindings, bikes, shoes, and golf clubs.
There are many competitors to Salomon, but most of them are more specialized. For instance in the ski market thier biggest competitor is Rossignol. Between these companys is what most would call healthy competition. Each trying to out do the outher in forms of product and price. This makes it alot better for the comsumer. We recive a higher quality merchendise with a more reasonable price.
Salomon�s financial history has been at the least rocky. �After Robert Louis-Dreyfus clinched a deal on Sept. 15 1997 to buy the French sports-equipment maker Salomon, he celebrated with Salomon family members over champagne at Geneva's swank Hotel des Bergues. The Adidas CEO had reason to gloat a little. In one deft stroke, Louis-Dreyfus has broadened his sports company's product base and balanced its geographic reach.�(Woodruff, Business week) This was what had made the paper after Adidas and Salomon joined forces. The merger sent them sailing up in the sporting equipment market up past Reebok into the number two position world wide. The $1.3 billion dollar purchase would help Adidas reach new markets in Asia and North America, where it is weak. And the combined company's reliance on the slow-growing European market will decline, since sales there will drop to 60% of the total, down from 66% for Adidas before the merger. Soon after the companies combined they almost covered up the debt of the purchase. After dropping at first, Adidas stock price rebounded on Sept. 17, closing 7% higher, only 2 days later. In 2001 Adidas-Salomon reported that their first-quarter net income dropped 12 percent. The company said profit fell to 46 million euros ($41 million), or 1.02 euros a share, from 53 million euros, or 1.16 euros, a year earlier. Sales rose 2.7 percent, to 1.6 billion euros, held back by a 6 percent drop in North America, to 445 million euros. The company also faced yet another bump in the road due to severe price cutting by Nike. At this time the company predicted a sales rise by about 3 percent with gains in all regions except North America. But then a year later in 2002 Adidas-Salomon posted better results than expected for the second quarter, helped by a 10 percent increase in sales. The company said its profit rose to 25 million euros ($24.3 million) from 24 million euros last year. Sales were up 26 percent in Asia, helped by the World Cup, and 7.7 percent in North America. Later this year they would post their biggest gain in 10 months.
Only a few months ago Salomon implemented i2's Supply Chain Planner to support its global planning functions for multiple-brand products. The move has helped Adidas-Salomon reduce the order planning and confirmation process from as much as three weeks to two days, while improving factory utilization rates and the flow of goods to customers. Glenn Bennett, Executive Board Member at Adidas-Salomon, said, 'The system is already proving to be a significant tool in achieving several of our supply chain initiatives particularly in the area of lead-time reduction and the better matching of supply and demand.' In other recent company news Adidas-Salomon added the head of its North American business to the company's executive board, giving its second-largest region a direct voice in corporate strategy.
Earlier this year the company unveiled its new North American headquarters in Portland Oregon. The one hundred million dollar, five-building, 500,000-square foot 'corporate village' will replace 11 separate office buildings, housing Adidas America employees who previously worked in Boston, South Carolina and Germany, as well as Oregon. It will be the company's largest US financial commitment in 2002. This new addition increased Salomon�s real estate portfolio and consolidated operations at one site, even so the new headquarters may better be characterized as a public relations move more than a real estate investment. 'This has been a long-term project with a long-term objective: to invest in Adidas-Salomon�s future in the US market (and) current market conditions cannot factor into a long-term decision,' said Nicole Vollebregt, a spokeswoman. However, 'while the Adidas Village is a necessary investment, we are making a concerted effort to bring down operating expenses,' she added. 'The main headquarters of Adidas Salomon are in Herzogenaourach, Germany . . . (so) our main business functions are already spread out between two locations,' Ms Vollebregt said. 'That being said . . . it is important to bring all areas of our (US) team under one roof to improve efficiency and effectiveness ... There are many more upsides to teamwork than downsides.' Another goal is increasing Salomon�s visibility with North American retailers and customers. The company would like to see its market share reach to about thirty percent and nip at the heels of Nike whose U.S. headquarters are just a stone throw away in Beavertown, Oregon. Leslye Mundy, a Nike spokeswoman, said the company took no insult. 'We understand why other brands would come to Oregon,' she said. 'It is the center of athletic footwear and apparel because that's where Nike is.'
Regardless of the company�s motives to move there, it will be a big boost for the city of Portland, who was severely hurt by the technology turndown. Last year it was the second worst-performing metropolitan area. The city actually offered Adidas-Salomon an eight million dollar tax cut, but the company declined, stating that they had already planned to move to that region. Since the city did not entice them there they felt it would be unfair to take the tax credit.
My weiner is probably harder than yours.