Adidas-Salomon has struck a deal with MatrixOne, a software company based in Chelmsford, Massachussets, to upgrade the entire process behind the development, sourcing and distribution of its products.

The company hopes the system will sharply reduce its current lead times of 18 months.

As part of the efficiency programme it launched last year, the company's new management aims to halve these over the next few years.

Adidas-Salomon will start using the software this month for its Winter 2002 collection, but the project will eventually cover the entire group.

The system will ultimately connect more than 2,500 international users both internally and externally.