Footwear Industry Footwear Industry - empirica

Footwear Industry Footwear Industry - empirica


Usage of ICT and e-business in 2006

Among the ten sectors studied by e-Business W@tch in 2006, the footwear industry is

the one with the lowest overall use of ICT and e-business, in particular among

manufacturing sectors. On the other hand, the survey findings also indicate that footwear

firms are quite dynamic in adopting simple forms of ICT and e-business (e.g. accounting

software), when such systems suit their specific needs, size and financial capabilities.

What is striking is the relatively low level of e-business activity among the larger footwear

companies. Although the survey results for this size-band can only be indicative, 3 the

overall picture is quite clear: e-business is not used in footwear as much as in the other

sectors analysed this year by e-Business W@tch. Nevertheless, where needed and when

economically justified, footwear firms also exploit ICT advantages. Several survey

indicators point at this "digital divide" and a “dual face” of ICT use in footwear:

Internet access at the workplace: On average, significantly fewer workers in

footwear companies have access to the internet at their workplace than in

companies of a comparable size from other sectors (see Section 3.1).

Small base of ERP systems: the installed base of enterprise resource planning

(ERP) systems, an important backbone for B2B integration and cooperation, is low

in the footwear sector (see Section 3.4.1). This appears to be the case particularly

among the medium-sized and large footwear companies, compared to the average

in other manufacturing industries studied this year by the e-Business W@tch.

Online procurement is much less developed in footwear than in any other sector

studied this year. Only about 30% of firms from this industry said that they place

some orders online, compared to a 50% all-sectors respective average.

Interestingly, footwear firms that do use e-procurement appear to be quite active in

ordering production materials online and in buying from international suppliers (see

Section 3.5.1).

Online marketing and sales appear to have gained momentum in footwear – the

gap to other sectors is smaller in this area, also considering that B2B transactions

prevail in this industry. Furthermore, footwear firms are more active at the

international level in this area when compared to the respective all sectors average

(see Section 3.6.1). Nevertheless, activity has probably not yet reached the critical

mass needed to trigger ICT uptake on a broad level.

Footwear firms are innovating, especially in terms of products where – not

surprisingly – the role of ICT is not very pronounced. However, the importance of

ICT is much less pronounced for process innovation in footwear than on

average in the other sectors studied this year by e-Business W@tch (see Section


Size and cost – the main barriers: companies that did not practice e-business

said that their company was "too small" for doing e-business and that they could

"not afford the required technologies” (see Section 3.8.2).


Only few interviews (N=23) could be realised with companies employing more than 250 persons

in the EU-10. The main reasons are the small population of large companies in this sector and

the increasing incidence of refusals to participate in telephone interviews among large firms.


More magazines by this user
Similar magazines