'Technical issues' delay Billabong's ecommerce rollout

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'Technical issues' delay Billabong's ecommerce rollout

Roadblock greets new NetSuite platform.

Retailer Billabong has been forced to delay the launch of its critical NetSuite ecommerce platform due to issues with its implementation.

Billabong announced it had signed up to use the NetSuite cloud-based SuiteCommerce financial, ERP, and commerce platform in mid-2015.

The platform will replace a disparate and regionally-based global technology ecosystem with one platform in order to give the retailer a single view of the customer.

NetSuite offers a real-time flow of customer, order, and inventory information across all sales channels, as well as better utilisation of inventory.

At the time Billabong said the platform would be introduced incrementally across its global operations, with the rollout expected to be complete in mid-2016.

However, in its half-year results today, Billabong revealed the launch of the new ecommerce and point-of-sales systems had been delayed as a result of problems with their implementation.

It said the user acceptance testing phase had identified unspecified "technical issues". 

"We are in ongoing discussions with that vendor to get their technical issues resolved, improve the resourcing and oversight of their project team, and deliver against their promises and contractual obligations," CEO Neil Fiske told investors.

"We have requested that they provide us a comprehensive corrective action plan.

"Although we are clearly disappointed at the delay, actions are underway to address the issues."

The NetSuite PoS solution, once implemented, will give retail staff insights into a customer's purchase history, and allow them to order products that are unavailable in store online.

It will also let Billabong staff access real-time stock numbers. Retail outlets are currently siloed from online operations and the call centre.

Billabong's turnaround strategy, announced in late 2013, pinned the company's hopes on digital to increase sales by more than 30 percent by 2018.

Its IT operations as of last month are being led by new global chief information officer Chris Conrad, who came to the company from fellow retailer Lululemon.

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