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Using Third Parties To Move Quickly

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Anton Langeler | IT Director | O'Neill Europe

We start to invest in an e-shop case. An e-shop is, how do you translate your collection, how do you present your collection to the end consumers [online]? Here, we are directly in touch with the end consumer. Each time, you would like to surprise him, and [show] that you understand his position. That means today we are an international company. We talk only in English. All our collection, all our tickets, [are in] global English. That means we cannot find easily the data of O’Neill. Second is, the challenge was that we started first in four countries. That means we have a collection of 60,000 SKUs in a season. That means if we start in four countries, then we should translate it four times. That is 240,000 different descriptions, and in different languages. Then, in each country, sometimes in Switzerland, German is a little bit different from German in Germany. If you talk about the Netherlands, in the Netherlands Dutch is different from Flemish in Belgium. Then, I need an application. At that time I think, now is the time to start an MDM project. But at the time that I started an MDM project, there were some people who had experience in big companies [who said], “If you start an MDM project, you're not right. If you have a global European implementation, you don't start a global MDM project.” No. For me, then, the challenge starts. We see barriers always as inspiration. At that time, I met Laura, and Laura was the marketing manager. She was involved in this project. I said to her, "I will give you the best solution." Then I invited the suppliers. I challenged both suppliers. Based on that, at that time, IBM acted so fast. They had all of the directors at the highest levels in the U.S. together to get the solution here. During the whole project, it was so nice to sit, challenge; and every challenge, we solved it, within 30 days. IBM said, "We have the fastest MDM project ever in the world, by O'Neill." You give a lot of compliments to all people in the project, also if they don't deliver that much. But if you have positive things every day—because it was a short project—every day, they are so motivated. They deliver 10 times more than they expected. So everybody was happy. Another lesson was, you should open your mind. I think I was open, and I was willing to learn from others, because it was for me a completely new area. I like new areas. I think the most fun is that the business is completely happy. If you walk through the building, and you talk about PIM, Product Information Management, they love you to.

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