Wiggle is a leading sports e-commerce retailer, operating in over 70 countries worldwide. Established in May 1999, the company retails bikes and cycling accessories and triathlon equipment from exclusive brands such as dhb, Verenti and Felt bikes. They are passionate about delivering excellent service, coupled with first-rate technical knowledge for their global customers.
Wiggle is undergoing rapid growth and expansion across the globe. This growth is organic and through corporate activity such as the recently announced merger with Chain Reaction Cycles.
With an absolute focus on customer experience and advocacy, Wiggle decided it needed to create a scalable and best-in-class digital platform which could efficiently underpin its ambitious expansion plan. Wiggle recognized that it needed to invest in its IT infrastructure and systems and embarked on a capability upgrade program.
First stop on the transformation journey was creating an insight platform that ensured a single view of the customer, supplier and product was accessible to decision makers across the organization. Enterprise KPIs have been embedded across the organization, including Wiggle’s net promoter score (NPS) and customer lifetime value, as well as the less glamourous, but highly significant, data quality score.
Once the data foundation was secured, Wiggle was in a strong position to start the transformation of the business functions, delivering the capabilities required to win in the global online sports market.
A fundamental aspect of this business transformation was the implementation of a new financial management solution to replace over 200 legacy, home-grown and off-the-shelf finance systems, many of which were inherited as a result of its rapid organic growth.
The incumbent systems were typically manual, labor-intensive and provided little process control and visibility. As part of its strategy for growth, Wiggle decided to streamline its systems and processes and implement a basic best-of-breed solution that would provide the best platform for the future.
Wiggle appointed Hitachi Vantara as their technology partner in 2014, and together designed and built an enterprise data warehouse (EDW), which placed the customer at the heart of the model. This was based on an Oracle platform, and required:
In early 2015, Wiggle undertook a comprehensive review of the finance systems on the market. The decision was taken to opt for a vanilla best-of-breed solution and to implement new processes and governance, which would provide a springboard to grow its operation on a global scale. Oracle Cloud Financials and Procurement was selected, based upon its SaaS capability, proven process model and ability to integrate to a wider Oracle Retail estate.
Wiggle engaged Hitachi in June 2015 to implement Oracle Cloud Financials and Procurement, drawing upon Hitachi’s strong retail credentials and proven Oracle experience. Wiggle saw Hitachi's status as a long-standing Oracle partner as a crucial indication of quality, which was important given the ground-breaking nature of this project. Additionally, Wiggle felt that access to Oracle’s global leadership and development teams would contribute significantly to the project’s success.
Being cloud-based, the financials and procurement portal is accessible globally via the internet, providing 24-hour, seven day a week access for the Wiggle team, wherever they are located.
As an integrated, scalable financial management system, Oracle Financials Cloud streamlines business processes and technical requirements and improves decision-making with access to real-time information. Hitachi implemented financial management modules for ledger, payables and receivables, fixed assets and cash management, enabling Wiggle greater control of supplier balances, invoices and payments, tracking of fixed assets and managing cash positions and forecasts.
The module also provides statutory and management reporting, as well as bank integration, allowing Wiggle an up-to-the minute view of its financial position.
Oracle Cloud Procurement was introduced to process all indirect procurement such as goods not for resale, providing Wiggle with a simplified procurement process, along with greater control over costs. The procurement module streamlines processing, automating the requisition-to-payment cycle and allowing Wiggle to focus on strategic activities.
Following a high-level design phase, implementation of Oracle Cloud Financials and Procurement commenced in October 2015, with successful go-live just 21 weeks later, within the agreed budget. Wiggle dedicated significant time and resources to a solid change management program, providing regular communication to the business and users, as well as investing in staff training, to ensure a smooth transition from the legacy systems to the Oracle solution.
Stefan Barden, CEO of Wiggle, said “Wiggle’s total and relentless focus on customer satisfaction continues to underpin our above market growth rates.” By providing a true customer 360-degree view measuring interactions across the customer journey, and focusing on customer KPIs, the net promoter score (NPS) has steadily increased, and is now at a market-leading level.
Single source of the truth
Oracle Cloud Financials and Procurement gives Wiggle an accurate and comprehensive view of its financial position and cash flow at any given moment. As a cloud-based solution, financial data is accessible globally, providing valuable information to inform and improve decision-making.
Wiggle instantly achieved greater control of indirect procurement expenditure, with improved visibility of cash flow and the balance sheet. The next project following the announcement of the Chain Reaction merger is to extend the new financials platform to the new organization, ensuring strong financial control across the enlarged operation.
Also, the corporate KPIs are now consistently embedded within the organization from top down, enabling the board to maintain visibility across a rapidly changing and expanding organization.
Wiggle has a leading edge, vanilla finance and procurement system that, like the insight platform, is readily scalable to fit in with the growth and development plans business. The Chain Reaction merger has added a significant increase in turnover to the enlarged group, but will be incorporated without any capacity concerns.
A user-friendly, intuitive front-end to the portal provides a pleasing and efficient system, automating and streamlining finance and procurement processes and providing greater control. Embedding operational analytics within the processes has also reduced employee workload, providing in-context insight – better informed decisions in fewer clicks.
Commercial teams are now armed with a complete supplier scorecard to support supplier collaboration and sourcing. This brings together fiscal and operational measures to enable buyers and suppliers to focus on the areas which can make most impact to ongoing joint success. A leading global sports brand, and a strategic supplier to Wiggle, has said, “The quality of information Wiggle now provides exceeds what we can get internally”.
Wiggle has replaced over 200 legacy systems with a proven, leading-edge solution that is integrative and scalable, particularly with other Oracle Retail products.
Low cost of ownership
Oracle Cloud Financials and Procurement is provided as a SaaS, so Wiggle did not have to fund any large up-front costs, instead paying for the service by monthly subscription, which offers better management of cash flow. Wiggle also benefits from new releases and automatic participation in upgrades to the product roadmap, as well as a reduced dependence on internal infrastructure.
Wiggle became the first European retailer to go live on Cloud Financials and Procurement clouds in February 2016, just six months after commencing high-level design. Delivering this scope of change in this timescale on an enterprise financials platform is only possible on the cloud. This capability to adapt quickly will become even more critical as Wiggle continues to accelerate its global growth.
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Hitachi have been the ideal partner for our transformation journey – they bring real-world, pragmatic experience of retail, Oracle solutions, custom development skills and a broad range of technologies. We are well positioned for long term global success.
– Jeff Wollen, CIO, Wiggle Ltd.