German sportswear company Puma AG today (20 October) opened a landmark product development centre in Vietnam, bringing together resources that had previously been spread across Asia in a bid to speed time to market and reduce costs.

The centre in Ho Chi Minh City will be responsible for 85% of Puma's footwear and 15% of its apparel development needs, and will bring together prototype and sample suppliers.

Also based at the new complex - which has been dubbed Puma Village - are material and component suppliers as well as the sourcing, engineering, material management, laboratory and research and development centres of Puma's World Cat sourcing organisation.

"This trend-setting concept of a product development centre with over 40 Puma suppliers under one roof…will increase Puma's speed to market, reduces our cost base and makes sure that our products are of excellent quality," explains chairman and CEO Jochen Zeitz.

The centre underpins Puma's ongoing efforts to restructure its business operations and cut costs in response to the changing economic environment.
 
"After three years of planning und building we have created a unique place for all our creative people to work directly with the prototype factories in a fast and professional way," adds chief supply chain officer Reiner Seiz. 

"Nearly all of our product categories as well as technologies will be developed at the Puma Village in order to ensure that our entire product service and product quality goals are achieved."

Environmentally friendly features of the centre include a water reservoir to collect rain water, a louver to protect the office and factory building from direct sunlight, and solar panels to provide energy for warm water and air-conditioning.
 
The sports firm's department of social and environmental affairs, puma.safe, is also based here.

This unit is responsible for raising work and production standards worldwide, developing new sustainable products and reducing the firm's carbon footprint.