FatFace completes it’s biggest ever digital transformation with Searchlight Consulting

Fashion Retailer FatFace has recently completed the final stage of a major digital transformation programme, the biggest single capital investment in the company’s history.

Beginning with a re-platforming of it’s eCommerce platform in 2017, FatFace has been investing heavily in it’s distribution, instore, data and multi-channel capabilities. The final phase of the multi-year programme was the most ambitious yet, moving the core stock management, planning, buying and merchandising functions for the retailer’s global operations onto one modern integrated suite of cloud-based applications.

FatFace chose Searchlight Consulting for their ‘best in class’ approach to help deliver this complex programme, involving multiple technology partners, including ERP solutions from Microsoft and Intelligent Planning Solutions from Board International.

Building on an eight-year relationship, FatFace trusted Searchlight to deliver a unified approach to programme management and governance, and to ensure the challenges of systems integration, complex data migration, and end user adoption were successfully met. FatFace CEO Will Crumbie said, “Searchlight has steered us through this programme beautifully.”

The programme was delivered by a multi-disciplined team, working in a hybrid mode remotely and from the FatFace head office in Havant, UK. Searchlight helped FatFace source and manage a set of delivery partners who could work together with the in-house technology and business functions under a common framework to deliver this transformative programme. FatFace IT Director Zona Smith said, “We were a hundred times better prepared for this project than we have ever been before.”

With this new data model and integrated suite of applications in place, FatFace has the tools to manage stock across its digital and physical channels, including partner channels, to ensure that the right assortment of products are in the right place at the right time to sell where demand is greatest, maximising margins and reducing the need for discounting for end of season clearance. FatFace Trading Director Nick Stevenson said, “With Searchlight’s help we have delivered significant capability uplift in our Buying & Merchandising functions, automating how we operate and providing information to make decisions rather than focusing on the ‘heavy lifting’ of data processing.”

A key element of Searchlight’s approach to delivering change is embedding people with a deep understanding of the client’s business. FatFace Product Director Kate Brown said, “Working with the Searchlight team has felt like an extension of the FatFace family.  Searchlight pulled together a team with the right expertise to deliver this project successfully, and we have really enjoyed working with them. Having people with a background in Buying able to fully understand the requirements has been critical in the design and execution of this project. In addition Searchlight’s understanding of the impact of change and always considering our people has ensured a successful on-boarding for all of the Buying & Merchandising teams.”

Commenting on the programme management and quality assurance provided by Searchlight, FatFace CFO Mike Rainer said, “The governance and visibility provided has been exceptional, ensuring there were no surprises.”

Searchlight Delivery Director Keith O’Hara added, “Having worked closely with FatFace for eight years now, we were delighted that the leadership team trusted us to deliver their biggest ever technology transformation programme. It was important that we leveraged the considerable in-house knowledge and skills, and ensured that the external delivery partners worked in a seamless and integrated fashion with the whole team. With this world class technology platform in place, we look forward to seeing FatFace drive operational excellence and growth, to enhance their position as a global lifestyle brand.”


About FatFace

FatFace is a British, family, lifestyle clothing brand that is Made for Life. With a unique heritage, FatFace creates product ranges across womens, mens, kids, footwear and accessories for the whole family to live life in. Our products are designed with purpose and built to last. Considered Style. Trusted Quality. Responsibly sourced.

FatFace is a multichannel retailer with a thriving international digital business as well as over 180 stores in the UK, over 26 stores in the US and Canada and a highly engaged social community. FatFace is a brand with sustainability at it’s core with clear strategy around three key pillars – product, planet, and community. The brand was recently awarded B Corp™ status, a testament to it’s achievements against these pillars.


About Searchlight Consulting

Searchlight is an independent consultancy focused on building business capabilities and leveraging technology to drive business improvement, evolution and digital transformation.

As businesses evolve they outgrow their ways of working and operating platforms – their processes, organisation and the technology which supports them. And, while business applications and technology are becoming increasingly pervasive, these technologies must enable improvement and not hinder strategic progress.

Searchlight are experts at bringing clarity of purpose, direction and setting companies on the right path. By enabling companies to align interventions and investment to business objectives, they are able to make better business decisions, reduce implementation risk and deliver value.

Working with ambitious organisations across consumer and product-based industries – Retail, Supply Chain, Wholesale, Distribution, Manufacturing, Construction, Service, Travel & Hospitality and Media. Searchlight has a growing track record of helping people and service-based organisations in the social and healthcare, software services, marketing and professional services industries to more effectively manage their workforce and improve service delivery.

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    Searchlight are experts at aligning business and IT strategy, shaping business transformation programmes and helping our clients build business and IT capability throughout the transformation journey. Contact us today to find out how our independent advice could help you grow, develop new capabilities and future-proof your organisation.


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    Oliver CookFatFace completes it’s biggest ever digital transformation with Searchlight Consulting