Sourcing on a global scale - with all the complexities and nuances and challenges that it brings. Our Sourcing function makes sure that we have all the materials and production capacity we need to make our products - and that’s everything designed, manufactured and sold by Clarks around the world. We work with a number of third party suppliers to plan and manage all aspects of production. An idea of the size of our work? We source a mind-bending 85 million square metres of leather every year - plus any number of other materials and services.
We work closely with Product Development who, in turn, work with suppliers around the world to develop products that meet our high standards of style, quality, fit, comfort and durability. And everything we do, we do in an ethical, considerate way. We work closely with our corporate social responsibility colleagues to make sure that we’re sourcing in line with Clarks’ consistently high standards.
We work closely with the factories themselves too - factories all around the world. It’s important to make sure that they can manage the capacity we need. It’s important that what we’re asking for is achievable - and achievable in the timescales we need. Creating 55 million pairs of shoes is no mean feat. And, dare we forget, shoemaking is still a largely manual (and artisan) process, which takes a lot of love and care, time and attention - and that all takes a lot of planning.
As well as the UK team, we’ve offices in Brazil, China, India, Italy and Vietnam. We also have people in 14 countries outside of the UK. They help us to manage the production of 55 million pairs of shoes a year. So when we say that sourcing is a truly global operation, we mean it.
Typical roles include ...
- Materials Manager
- Planning Manager
Spotlight on a ... Materials Manager
As job titles go, it’s fairly self-explanatory. Our Materials Managers manage the sourcing and delivering of materials. Take leather. We source, on average, some 85 million square metres of leather every year. A lot of leather. As the Materials Manager in charge, you’ll manage a team of Leather Coordinators and the tannery supply base that delivers leathers to the business. It’s up to you to make sure that not only does the leather look great, but that it’s of the highest quality.
You’ll work with many different parts of the Clarks business, from Range, Design, Product Development and Quality, through to Supply Chain Sourcing and Brand. You could also be dealing with Clarks offices in Asia and India, as well as suppliers from all over the world. There’ll be regular video conferences and plenty of travel, in the UK and overseas. The leather and footwear world never stands still, so you’ll need to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest developments and trends. A finger-on-the-materials-pulse is essential!