The three finalists in this year's Consumer category of the Benchmarks Awards 2017 couldn't be more different.
One managed to stand up an entirely new ecommerce operation in just two months after its board jumped on an opportunistic purchase.
Another took a novel and unprecedented approach to the problem of declining repeat customers and lacklustre participation in its marketing competitions.
And the third stuck its neck out to try something new and difficult in an industry adverse to technological change.
But while diverse, there's one thread tying all the Consumer finalists together: all have exemplified guts, ambition and a desire to use technology to deliver huge gains for their business.
Please join us in congratulating:
Goran Stefkovski - Kogan
The opportunistic purchase of the Dick Smith online business, sans any of its infrastructure, in April this year saw Kogan’s tech team given just two months to launch a full ecommerce operation for the brand from scratch.
By leveraging existing in-house expertise to remodel the proprietary Kogan platforms and microservices for a new brand, and utilising the auto-scale properties of Kogan’s cloud infrastructure, the team was able to relaunch Dick Smith as a pure-play online store without any additional resources within just one month.
Launching a month ahead of schedule earned the business an unanticipated extra $3 million in revenue from a brand that is now generating around that figure each month in sales for the Kogan group.
Christian McGilloway - Retail Zoo
Free the Fruit
Faced with a slow decline in repeat customers and participation in marketing competitions, Boost Juice parent Retail Zoo was forced to rethink how it connected with its core customers.
It took a gamble and created its first-ever cross-platform mobile app game, integrated with its PoS systems for in-game vouchers offering free drinks.
Taking its cues from Candy Crush, interspersed with a bit of combat, the success of the game saw the firm end up doubling its intended four-week campaign time after the game soared past download forecasts and to the top of the free app charts for a brief stint.
Despite some initial performance hiccups, the team has managed to create a well-designed, fun and compelling marketing tool that has made its mark on bottom-line sales as well as foot traffic in stores.
Alan Perkins - InchcapeV360
Inchcape’s back-end, plagued by manual processes and old, fragmented systems, was nowhere near ready to support the automotive services firm’s vision of being a customer-centric organisation.
In an industry rife with such technological headaches, Inchcape’s IT team stands out for its efforts to push through traditional and steadfast ways of doing things with a proposition to try something new and unknown.
Its V360 project unified data from closed proprietary and fragmented systems into one SQL data warehouse to provide a holistic view of the customer.
The effort has significantly cut down the cost and many hours of effort involved in accessing information, such as for daily functions like determining what cars to order from overseas: this process previously took 40 people a combined 60-80 hours per week to produce 80 spreadsheets, where V360 produces this output in 5 seconds.
Winners will be announced at the CIO Edge Experience (formerly the CIO Strategy Summit) on February 21 at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.