May 21 - 27, 20

Pakistani sports industry, albeit always relying on high quality products, lacked a formal quality management program till 1990's. It was during this decade that most of sports industries adopted a formal quality management program in the shape of ISO-9000.

Quality - as broadly applies to products, process, people, and environment - and its control has become increasingly important in today's competitive global market place.

Consumers, be they local or foreign, expect quality in the products they buy and exert great pressure on producers to maintain high standard of quality. Likewise, producers rely more on international distribution networks and realize that if they are not competitive in all aspects of quality, they would find it very difficult to survive even what the question to compete.

With the emergence of new world trade order and initiation of 21st century, there has been dramatic change in trends, practices, and outlook of the business environment in all around the world. Standards play an increasingly important role in the development of the "global village".

Market globalization has fostered an important and positive move toward the internationalization of standards. Countries that have introduced and adopted standardized policies have gained an advantage over countries that have been slower to adoption process.

ISO standards are organized in such a way as to guarantee the involvement of all parties involved. A distinctive feature of quality assurance is that it transfers verification of requisites from the product to the system that produces the product.

ISO-9000 series provides the basis for the third party certification of a company's quality system by establishing the standard that must be met. Under these, standards control exists for every aspect of production process.

Achieving ISO-900 registration requires third party assessment and periodic audit of the quality system to confirm that the system meets and adheres to ISO-9000 standard and this ISO registration increases the acceptance of the products globally. There are established empirical evidence to justify linkage between a firm's quality orientation and business performance.

A better quality orientation enables firm to reduce costs, improve customer loyalty, and attract new customers which influence overall performance of the firm in a positive manner.

When it comes to the question of sustaining the performance improvement on continuous basis quality orientation reflects its positive contribution in the form of increased return on investment (ROI), profits, sales volume, market share, and sales growth.

While being in the international markets, these advantages are being eroded by the considerable downward pressure on prices, by difficulties in logistic planning and control, and by inadequate information system especially when it comes to developing countries.

Pakistan's sports goods industry possesses huge export potential but this potential is not being tapped as per its strength. There are many weaknesses within the local manufacturers. Pakistan, where economic dependence is mainly on exports, quality management practices become even more critical for competitive positioning of firms in international market.

If organizations will not choose to develop better quality orientation and adopt quality oriented management practices, they will not be able to position themselves in international markets.

The export of sports goods from the country during the first nine months of current financial year registered an increase of 1.18 per cent over the same period of last year.

During the first three quarters of the current financial year, sports goods worth $234.13 million was exported as compared to the $231.4 million export of the same period last year.

As per the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), during the period from July-March 2011-12, the football export from the country registered growth of 8.41 per cent as about 2,233,000 dozens footballs valuing $109.2 million were exported.

The export of footballs were recorded at 2,464,000 dozens worth $100.8 million in the corresponding period of last financial year, the data added.

However, during the period under review, the export of gloves decreased six per cent as its exports went down from $86.7 million to $81 million during the first three quarters of current financial year.

Meanwhile, the export of leather gloves witnessed increase of 41.53 per cent as the country earned $123 million by exporting about 4,221,000 dozens of gloves during July to March 2011-12.

Amer Sports continues to invest into executing its long-term strategy and sustaining profitable growth with special focus on leveraging Amer Sports strong brands into apparel, footwear and accessories as well as on emerging markets expansion.

Amer Sports expects broad based sales growth and profitability improvement across most business areas in 2012, with the exception of winter sports equipments where preorders are expected to decline and profitability to be adversely impacted by the late and mild winter in season 2011/12, especially in North America and Southern Europe.

However, the winter sports equipment operational efficiency program, which started in 2010, is proceeding ahead of plan, and will partially help to mitigate the negative impacts of the expected preorder decline.

Amer Sports' net sales in local currencies are expected to increase from 2011 in line with the company's annual five per cent growth target. Leveraging Amer Sports' brands into apparel, footwear, and accessories continue to be the main growth driver for the company.

Although Amer Sports operates in a number of sporting goods segments during all four seasons, its business is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Historically, the third and fourth quarters of a financial year have been the strongest quarters for Amer Sports in terms of both net sales and profitability, mainly because sales of winter sports equipment ahead of the winter season typically take place during the third and fourth quarters.

The summer season for ball sports balances seasonality to a certain extent, as the strongest quarters for the ball sports segment are the first and second quarters. Usually, the net cash flow from operating activities is very strong in the first quarter when the income from winter sports equipment realizes. Especially during the third quarter, the net cash flow from operating activities is tied up in working capital.