PUMA Group’s sourcing functions, referred to as PUMA Group Sourcing (PGS), manages all sourcing related activities for PUMA and Cobra, including vendor selection, product development, price negotiation and production control. These activities are centrally managed by PUMA International Trading GmbH (PIT), the group’s global trading entity, with its head office in the Corporate headquarters in Herzogenaurach (Germany). In addition, PIT is responsible for procurement and supply into the PUMA distribution channels worldwide. PIT receives volume forecasts from PUMA subsidiaries and licensees worldwide, translates these forecasts into production plans which are subsequently distributed to the referenced vendors. The PUMA subsidiaries confirm their forecasts into purchase orders to PIT, which in turn consolidates these requirements and purchases from the vendors. There is a clear buy/sell relationship between the sales-subsidiaries and PIT and between PIT and the vendors, for added transparency.
The centralization of both the sourcing and procurement functions, along with the rollout of a cloud-based purchase order collaboration and payment platform, linking the sales-subsidiaries, PIT and the vendors, has enabled the digitalization of the supply chain creating transparency, operational efficiency and reducing complexity. For example, container fill rates are optimized, foreign currency risks are managed by PIT directly via a centralized currency hedging policy, and all payments to vendors are automated and paper free.
To meet the needs of our customers in terms of service, quality, social and environmental sustainability, we focus on six core strategic pillars: partnership, product, quality, growth management, margins & acquisition costs and sustainability. The centralization of sourcing and procurement enables continuous improvements in all areas. In addition, the integration of PUMA's sustainability function into the sourcing organization ensures that industry standards, including social, environmental and chemical safety, are closely linked to all our sourcing activities.
Another key aspect in our sourcing setup since 2016 has been the PUMA Vendor Financing Program. The program allows vendors to be paid earlier. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), banking group BNP Paribas, HSBC as well as Standard Chartered offer attractive financing terms to our suppliers, which are able to maintain their own lines of credit.
At the beginning of 2022, we carried over our efforts from last year to tracking and restoring capacities at our suppliers. This had still been influenced by the COVID lockdown situation in Vietnam in summer 2021. As we saw a growing demand across all markets during the first half of this year, we focused on ensuring a stable supply of products across all divisions while taking prioritizations in alignment with our sales subsidiaries into account.
Fortunately, most sourcing countries did not experience further COVID restrictions in the course of this year, with the exception of China, where temporary production disruptions did occur – yet with an overall minor impact. We have been closely monitoring the extended logistics lead times across various markets in making sure availability of products is on time.
In view of the global macroeconomic situation, which has led to a change in our customers' ordering behavior, and the normalization of the supply chain, sourcing volumes declined in Q4. Therefore, we actively adjusted sourcing to the corresponding situation and continued to provide transparency to our sourcing partners so that they can adjust their capacities accordingly.
During the financial year 2022, PIT purchased from 141 independent suppliers (previous year: 129) in 27 countries worldwide. The strategic cooperation with long-term partners did not only remain to be one of the key competitive advantages, but it was also crucial in navigating through ongoing supply chain challenges of 2022.
Asia remains the strongest sourcing region overall with 95% of the total volume, followed by the Americas with 3% and EMEA with 2% (thereof Europe with 1% and Africa with 1%).
As a result, the six most important sourcing countries (93% of the total volume) are all located on the Asian continent. China became our biggest production country in 2022 with a total of 32%. It had been mainly China which compensated for the lockdown situation in Vietnam in 2021 and therefore saw a continued increase of sourcing volumes. This increase carried over to this year as reallocation effects remained. While growing in absolute volumes, Vietnam on the other hand decreased in relative terms to a total of 30%, given the repercussions of the situation in 2021. Cambodia is in third place at 13%, Bangladesh, which focusses on apparel, is in fourth place at 12%. Indonesia, with a focus on footwear production and increasing volumes for apparel, produces 4% of the total volume and is in fifth place. India is in sixth place at 3%.
Rising wage costs, fluctuating material prices, freight rates and macroeconomic developments, have continued to influence sourcing markets in 2022. Such impacts need to be taken into account in allocating the production to ensure a secure, sustainable and competitive sourcing of products. In this regard sourcing continues to extend its local supply chain initiatives for markets such as China, India, Latin America, Türkye and others. Our sourcing activities resumed with business travel to key sourcing markets in order to visit our existing partners but also evaluate new vendors and opportunities in sourcing countries like Indonesia.