Change Management Brings Profit Increases for Country Road
After Country Road, an apparel retailer located in Australia and New Zealand, acquired the Witchery and Mimco brands in 2012 , the company quickly realized it had a massive change management issue to deal with, according to David von Blanckensee, the IT director at Country Road, who spoke at Oracle Connect in Boston this week.
“While the brands had great style, they had bad foundations," von Blanckensee said. "Orders weren't being correctly input into their system. The systems they were using had untrusted stock positions, different operating models and no referential integrity." As a result, product orders weren't getting delivered to the right customers.
"It doesn't matter how good your brand connection is to your customers, if you don't know where your stock is, you're in trouble," von Blanckensee said.
To solve these issues, Country Road migrated all of its brands — including Trenery, its brand that caters to consumers over the age of 40 — to Oracle’s retail merchandising system in the second half of last year. Country Road had been working with Oracle for several years prior to this.
“Since migrating to our proven merchandise and e-commerce systems platforms, the Witchery and Mimco brands receive enhanced replenishment and fulfillment processes,” said von Blanckensee.
Indeed, Country Road has embarked on a concerted effort over the past few years to develop an omnichannel offering to provide its customers with a consistent shopping experience across physical and online stores.
The migration seems to be working: In the first six months since migrating all brands into one system, Country Road has seen a 74 percent increase in profit year-over-year, according to von Blanckensee.
“The key reason for our success was the the change management program we put into effect,” von Blanckensee said.