By 'Sudarshan Sreenivasan Shailaja , Deloitte Director | Carla Casamayor Deloitte Senior Specialist Lead'
8 May 2023
icebreaker is an outdoor apparel company, founded in New Zealand with the purpose to move people away from unnecessary plastic apparel to more natural fibre alternatives for their active pursuits. In an industry dominated by plastic and synthetic clothing, icebreaker takes a challenger mindset to push boundaries and challenge the status quo to champion natural, transparent, responsible and sustainable ways of doing business. This is everything from the way they source merino fibre, the way they work with vendors to create garments, to the way they work with partners to push for a naturally better way of doing things. icebreaker sells via their own stores, wholesalers and online in over 50 countries across the world.
icebreaker's authentic approach has earned them a loyal customer base. To make its sustainable apparel accessible to a broader customer demographic and improve operational efficiencies, icebreaker embarked on an ambitious digital transformation journey in early 2021.
This journey was based on three main objectives:
When icebreaker embarked on this journey in early 2021, it needed to build an API/Integration capability and decommission its existing integration stack. icebreaker joined hands with Deloitte to fast-track its transformation, and we agreed on a few principles that helped us stay the course:
The icebreaker technology platform leveraged various cloud services, including MuleSoft, Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Application Gateway and Elastic Cloud. This platform provided immediate business benefits and decreased the time it takes to onboard marketplaces by 20-60%.
"Leveraging Cloud and APIs, we are automating our processes to cut down the time it takes to onboard regional wholesale partners and marketplaces and reduce manual business processes; this will enable greater access to natural solutions," said Nicola Spurdle, Director, Digital Technology at icebreaker.
The early indications are positive, with icebreaker introducing its sustainable products to new marketplaces in weeks instead of the months it took on the legacy stack.
Fast forward to November 2022, icebreaker has expanded its presence onto 6 online marketplaces and moved 12 critical business processes across wholesale partners, point of sale (POS), 3PL and eCommerce off its legacy integration stack, while adding value to the business.
icebreaker's leadership excels in building truly autonomous and cross-functional teams; these teams have the context and support to balance short and long-term outcomes. These are rare but necessary preconditions for a successful transformation.
In the following stages of its transformation journey, icebreaker will continue to expand its marketplace presence while driving even greater operational efficiencies by connecting all three core business systems: e-commerce, point of sale, and distribution centre.
Deloitte looks forward to supporting icebreaker as it continues to leverage technology to promote sustainability and preserve the planet for future generations.
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