Delivering a successful brand, IT and data migration in under a year!
Searchlight Consulting led the business and technical carve out of a European online retailer for an acquired brand, from a larger retail group. The Searchlight team management the business, technology and data transformation and successful exit of the transfer service agreement.
- Expert support delivered for programme management, data migration, and business operational transition
- Detailed migration strategy established, outlining the replacement, consolidation, adoption and decommissioning process
- Minimal impact on customers achieved: outage window was carefully planned based on traffic periods, with the activities were planned on an hour-by-hour basis
- Programme delivered ahead of schedule
A European online retailer reached out to Searchlight Consulting for support in the business, IT and data migration of their newly acquired brand. The acquired brand was a subsidiary of a large retail group, with thousands of customers across a number of countries.
Searchlight was tasked with overseeing the migration of the acquired brand to the new business operating model. This was a multifaceted process as the brand was fully embedded within the retail group’s business, distribution network and technical infrastructure. Managing the extraction of business data from the systems and applications had to take into consideration the intricate technical architecture, covering an extensive range of capabilities, digital platforms, technologies and application models, including the migration of customer payment tokens from the legacy payment provider.
Expert programme and project management support was needed to ensure that the three workstreams (business, technology and data) had a common understanding of the objectives of the change programme, as well as their specific role through the transition, and critically the challenging timeline to achieve the new business operating model.
A key concern going into this process was the impact on customers. Searchlight worked to minimise the impact to customers, not only through a rapid turnaround on the automation of the new eCommerce platform and migration of business-critical data, but also in the continuous communications to customers.
Searchlight’s core capabilities in programme management, due diligence, data migration and business operational transition, ensured a thorough business carve out and transition plan was established. The overall migration programme operated within a Transitional Service Agreement (TSA), between the retailers, to ensure the continued operation of the business and delicate focus on executing the plans to migrate all data and processes. The Searchlight team focused on the migration of business-critical data, inventory, warehousing and also the transfer of personnel.
An in-depth assessment of the technical architecture and third-party applications used across sell side operations was initially carried out to assure the business case, de-risk the programme and to inform commercial negotiations in the creation of the TSA. On agreeing the TSA, a governance framework was introduced to ensure effective communication between multiple parties.
Developing a Strategy
A migration strategy was designed, detailing the replacement, consolidation, adoption, and decommissioning process. Searchlight worked closely with the IT teams, distribution network, and data teams from all parties involved, to ensure the shared knowledge of processes, business information, data and systems. The strategy outlined the plan to address;
- Compatibility of data models
- Transition to new applications
- Transition to modified processes
- Minimised changes for end consumer experience
Minimising Impact on Customers
To minimise any risks to the operation of the business and to reduce any inconvenience to customers, the outage window was carefully planned based on traffic periods and the activities were planned on an hour-by-hour basis. A complex and detailed plan was built up by every part of the business, facilitated by the Searchlight team and rehearsed in two dry-run exercises.
Supply Chain Transformation
Searchlight supported the migration of physical inventory, as stock had to be moved to a new independent warehouse, together with the migration to existing 3rd party distribution partners.
Throughout the project, Searchlights business transformation and data experts were on-hand to support and guide the client through the whole process, to ensure effective knowledge transfer to the client’s end state operating model.
What Searchlight achieved in just 10 months
Searchlight provided an end-to-end service, supporting the client in the successful migration of their acquired brand to form part of their existing group.
The full-service was executed in less than 8 months and on budget. While working at pace, Searchlight ensured quality and attention to detail was upheld throughout to enable a seamless transition with minimal impact on customers and to maintain, as far as possible, business as usual.
Success in numbers:
- Programme delivered on time, cost and scope
- eCommerce platform outage was minimised to hours
- Revenue and customer base has enabled the business to scale ahead of business plan
- Minimal impact to customer experience resulted during the transition