In 2014, Florsheim Australia signed up to participate in Click Frenzy for the first time. The online massive shopping event is the local equivalent to America’s “Black Friday” and typically draws a record number of shoppers ready to spend with their favourite brands.
The event did not disappoint for Florsheim. On the day Click Frenzy launched, the uplift in online transactions was immediate and significant, increasing simultaneous transactions on the site to an all-time record. Yet as the user numbers climbed, Florsheim’s site performance slowed. Hosted internationally, the site and web server struggled to keep up with the additional demand. Page load times dragged and user experience was compromised.
The impact of the Click Frenzy surge was felt right across the business. IT Manager, Duane Kehoe explains: “The data flow between the website e-commerce engine and processing lagged. That caused downstream issues for customer service, who were working double time to clear back orders. Once the orders were processed, the ERP, logistics and fulfillment all progressed quickly but the lag between transaction and delivery increased.”
Behind the scenes, an IBM iSeries Power 7 was running business critical wholesale, warehouse management system and backend retail systems. “All orders shipped through our warehouse travel through at least two of the systems run on the iSeries, and three when we add retail to the mix. Almost all our extraneous systems interact with it on some level,” said Duane. “In essence, it is the cornerstone of our IT environment.”
But despite an extended hardware and software maintenance contract, the aging IBM Power 7 was expensive on the upkeep and did not have the processing power, performance and capacity needed to support Florsheim into the future.
To support the e-commerce and customer loyalty strategy for the business, Duane needed a strategy to ensure a faster, more efficient and robust customer experience for anyone browsing or transacting online. Swift data transfer between POS retail and online orders would be needed to provide a more singular view of the customer, along with better syncing of data to better handle logistics bottlenecks and warehouse capacity.