Speciality retailer

Can a 40-year-old company become a digital native?

Industry: Retail
Region: USA

Retailer upgraded its bricks with clicks and reduced IT maintenance costs by 50%

Many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are challenged by new digital competitors. Some have been tempted to implement quick fixes that were just as quickly scrapped in favor of more comprehensive modernization efforts. Others failed to adequately estimate the risks of modernization and faced business disruption that exacted both monetary and reputational costs.

The challenge

A leading U.S. retailer had more than 250 legacy applications that supported business areas including logistics, supply chain, stores, merchandising, finance and corporate systems. These outdated applications became a serious bottleneck that impacted the retailer’s business, including:

  • 2,200+ stores
  • 40,000 products
  • 3 million unique customers
  • 12,000 weekly truck shipments
  • 23 million annual parcel deliveries.

As a result, it was pressured by “born digital” competitors like Amazon — selling the same products at the same price, but with delivery as much as one week faster.

Customer experience was also lagging. For example, until recently, the retailer’s delivery time estimates were not as accurate as the competition.

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The solution

In order to quickly begin ramping up the initiative, Atos built a delivery model around the retailer’s need for speed. Its two key principles were:

  1. Full-stack development, a discipline that values holistic systems knowledge rather than specialization.
  2. Distributed Agile, an approach that breaks software development work into smaller pieces executed by global teams to maximize speed.

Business benefit

Altogether, the modernization was responsible for a 30% reduction in time to market for new products and services, and a 5% increase in top-line revenue.

Best of all, customer satisfaction increased dramatically as the retailer was able to fulfill orders as fast as, if not faster than, its online competitors could.

Atos provides ongoing support for the retailer’s new digital systems and will continue to innovate with new features and enhancements.

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