Wiggle Capability Upgrade Programme

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The Client

Wiggle was started at the back of a local bike shop in 1999 by Mitch Dall and Harvey Jones with an investment of just £2,000. The two entrepreneurs decided the internet provided an enormous opportunity to grow their business, and so transformed the company to become the UK’s leading online sports retailer.

Today, Wiggle has over 350 employees and is continuing to expand. The company’s mission is to provide access to the joy of swimming, running and cycling. It boasts its own well-respected brand, dhb, supports a huge network of worldwide events, and is the title sponsor of UCI ladies professional cycling team, Wiggle Honda.

The challenge

The digital market is a rapidly changing environment with new, increasingly sophisticated competitors entering the market all the time. Wiggle had already invested heavily in its customer service, but in order to implement an even more customer focused growth strategy, they needed Searchlight to help increase the company’s overall capability and provide employees with the tools needed to give better insight and engagement with the customer of today and tomorrow.

In order to run more effectively, Business and IT strategies had to be precisely aligned, in-house systems and processes updated, simplified and streamlined, and innovative new ideas needed to be introduced.

The solution

Step 1 – Strategy alignment and IT enabled change

Working closely with Wiggle, Searchlight assisted the company in aligning its IT and Business strategies and scoping plans for an entire Capability Upgrade Programme (CUP).

Defining the business case for change was key. So, Searchlight worked with Wiggle to develop a programme, which was approved by Wiggle’s board and private equity owners. Using their market knowledge to secure the best partnerships for Wiggle, Searchlight also finalised the selection of the CUP’s software and system integrators.

Wiggle had already selected a forecasting and planning solution, but had not changed their processes nor realised any benefits.  Alongside this work, Searchlight led a project to optimise the internal Buying and Merchandising forecasting, replenishment and inventory holding.

Searchlight helped:

·       define the new standard processes to be adopted

·       identify the roles and activities that need to be changed

·       support the launch of a training and education process across all product categories

Step 2 – Programme and Project Delivery

Searchlight were then engaged as client-side delivery partners and programme managers to deliver the capability upgrade. To ensure Wiggle were provided with the key experience, skills and capabilities to deliver the programme, Searchlight selected a team of senior level consultants. This has included a Programme Manager and a Project Manager, as well as support for Infrastructure Delivery, Enterprise Architecture, Business Architecture, Data Management and Solution Architecture.

Part time delivery assurance was also put in place, ensuring the appropriate governance for the duration of the programme. Searchlight also lead a Change and Communications process to make sure Wiggle’s adoption of the new business solutions was as smooth as possible.

In the final phase, Searchlight defined a test management approach, introducing Operational Acceptance Testing for all projects and programmes.

Additional work undertaken included an IT Operating Model review and a Service Operating Model review.

Step 3 – Driving Innovation

Wiggle wanted to explore ways of connecting even more directly with their customers. To help drive innovation and improve customer relationships, Searchlight used their ID2 service, a methodology designed to help companies like Wiggle accelerate their thinking and find new ways of engaging with prospects and customers, developing new products or services that will support revenue generation and information exchange.

Within eight weeks, the list of ideas had been developed, narrowed and two digital prototypes developed and road tested with Wiggle Customers.

“From day one, the Searchlight team worked as if they were part of the Wiggle business. As far as I was concerned, they are responsible, I am accountable. Wiggle had not done this before, and whilst we could kid ourselves that it would be cheaper to do it internally, in the long run I know it would probably be more expensive. Searchlight can provide me with the experience I need – they know what works and more importantly what doesn’t work.

Searchlight kept us true to our business case, providing advice and guidance to me and the business. They always went above and beyond the engagement terms of reference so that we would be able to realise the benefits of changes delivered.”

Mark Dermody, CIO Wiggle.