Wolverine Worldwide is a portfolio company of lifestyle brands. We operate 15 brands globally. We have up to 11,000 points of distribution around the world. We sell and make footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and children.
We purchased a company about three years ago that almost doubled the size of our company. When we did that, we realized that we had different code bases and web platforms for each individual organization. That wasn’t a scalable or sustainable approach to our business. What we embarked on was an 18-month journey to update and re-platform every single one of our websites in the US, Canada and Europe.
In 18 months time, we re-platformed over 70 websites, over 40 mobile sites in 13 countries, five currencies.
What Demandware enabled us to do is identify the processes, business requirements and the team in which to integrate and execute this plan. We built a dedicated team that focused on nothing but rolling out these sites and I’m proud to say that in 18 months we delivered these brands on time and on budget and are now moving on to other projects in our direct to consumer organization.
Moving to the cloud has enabled us to not become a technology company but rather focus on our strengths, which are building brands.
Today, the way we are organized is our biggest brands, Sperry, Merell and Stride Rite have their own dedicated merchandizing content and digital web teams. The smaller brands in our portfolio still have all of those functions and flexibility but they get a centralized center of excellence approach for operations today.
When we work with Demandware, it means that one change gets cascaded across all of our brands quickly and efficiently instead of having to rebuild that technology over and over.
I really feel that Demandware has listened to some of feedback and input and even so much that we could actually put some of our needs and desires into future generations of the road map.
The advice I would give to other retailers is really start at the top and collaborate with not only your C suite but your business partners. If your business partners and your C suite, especially your CFO understand the importance of what a web platform can bring, it’s much more than just a piece of technology. It’s actually a piece of commerce technology that is going to drive and can drive your entire business.