Tracks to Customer Centricity

Wiggle CRC – Tracks to Customer Centricity

Taking a young entrepreneurial company, full of spreadsheets, and transforming it into a mature 21st-century retailer.

“We could not have done that without Searchlight” – Jeff Wollen, Group CIO at Wiggle-CRC


Leading online tri-sports retailer Wiggle CRC have completed the final stage of a major digital transformation; its Capability Upgrade Programme. This has been devised and implemented with support from Searchlight Consulting, experts in IT-enabled change.

This latest project is one of the first Oracle Retail Merchandising and Fusion Financials to go-live in the UK.

Jeff Wollen, Wiggle CIO explained: “This Capability Upgrade Programme was a series of projects spanning three years in total. It has taken Wiggle from being a home-grown entrepreneurial company and a bespoke platform requiring many points of local knowledge which was effectively holding the company to ransom, into a scalable global platform able to absorb large increments of organic volume (including the demands of peak trading such as Black Friday) and major acquisitions without any technology or skills worries.

It has transformed the company valuation and enabled the Leadership Team to focus externally on the consumer rather than technical delivery issues. Searchlight has supported Wiggle through the transformation process from initial strategy and business case, vendor selection, system integrator appointment and hands-on delivery – ensuring a successful outcome was achieved for all parties,” he added.

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    Searchlight’s Role

    Searchlight Consulting has worked closely with Wiggle since the Programme’s inception. First, they helped Wiggle align their business and IT strategies putting the customer at the heart of their future growth strategy. At the same time, they also helped develop a mobile phone app, using their ID2 service which helps fast-track the future by unlocking in-house creativity to deliver innovative solutions at speed.

    Through a series of workshops with staff, four apps had been prototyped within two weeks, and after customer testing, just one week later, a final choice was selected for development.

    The resulting app focused on the tri-sports lifestyle, offering not just the opportunity to browse and buy but access to cycle guides, insurance and legal services; as well as easy navigation to find and book cycling events across the UK.

    The next phase was to deploy the cloud-based Oracle Financial Fusions platform which went live in 5 months. Work began on replacing Wiggle’s legacy custom-built solutions with the Oracle Merchandising Platform, integrating planning and pricing capabilities. This included an Oracle Systems Integrator evaluations and the ultimate selection of Hitachi and OLR, and the Associated BI tools.

    Customer Value Delivered

    What did Wiggle colleagues see? In practical terms, this meant a new state of the art distribution centre was developed in the Midlands (and stock moved there from the South Coast), office data and systems were transferred to the Cloud, and a data warehouse delivered. This significantly reduced effort and time taken to identify performance trends enabling the company to be more agile and responsive to customer needs.

    Following Wiggle’s merger with Chain Reaction, Searchlight continued their long-term relationship with the company and worked with both firms to lead the IT Due Diligence. In a process designed to future-proof the development of the business going forward, Searchlight’s CEO Steve Sharp and Enterprise Architect David Gray used Searchlight’s methodology to analyse the companies’ technology landscape, conduct a rigorous risk assessment, evaluate human resources, budget the IT aspect of the merger and importantly, advise on how the two businesses could best work together both now and in the future, leveraging Wiggle’s investment in its Capability Upgrade Programme (CUP).

    There has been a good return on our investment in working with Searchlight Consulting to help us navigate the CUP Programme from its initial inception to final delivery. Their insight and experience helped to ensure that we developed the right relationships with our systems integrators, to deliver the right outcomes. With Searchlight, we have accelerated knowledge transfer and raised the capability of our own staff, helping us to develop self-sufficiency more quickly. Most importantly, we have been able to deliver significant step changes to our business and achieved more than many other companies have incomparable transformation programmes.

    Stefan Barden, CEO at Wiggle-CRC

    More Information

    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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