“Vietnam? Still a current concern, augmented by transportation issues”, said Graziano Mazza. Mr. Mazza, owner of Premiata (company making the majority of its sneakers in Vietnam with Italian materials and Chinese soles) shares his concerns. Since July, Vietnamese production was drastically reduced due to the pandemic, as local companies were shut down for a time. All companies that have a part of their supply chain in Vietnam, starting with multinationals such as Nike, Adidas, Puma and Under Armour, al face serious issues tied to quantities and shipping. Mazza (in photo) tells us his experience and choices to alleviate the situation.
A Conversation with Mazza
From your point of view, what’s the situation in Vietnam?
Plants remained closed for 3 months: from mid-July to October 4th. Only those that had sleeping arrangements within the property could continue working. This meant a notable decrease in production output. Now, in some areas, plants are once again working at full regime, while in other areas the re-start was only partial. We hope that the vaccination campaign currently underway may prevent this from happening again in the next production season, or that at least these issues are limited.
What are the repercussions on Premiata’s sneakers?
About one third of the seasonal production output is delayed. Production problems have been joined by transportation issues. It’s hard to find room on cargo ships and planes, with speculations having increased costs. I think this is the result of geopolitical tensions, specifically related to Asian manufacturing countries.
What strategies has Premiata implemented?
Since July, we have had to find ways to limit our exposure. We have been trying to get as many pairs of shoes from Vietnam as possible, even if late. These are shoes that were supposed to get to Italy in August and the later months. Moreover, continuing on a strategy implemented in the last few seasons as well, we moved a part of production back to Italy. We gave it to companies specialized in the manufacturing of sneakers that could guarantee the same quality we have in Vietnam. We did everything possible, notified clients of the situation. The problem isn’t solved yet.