Founded in 1970, Intergamma is the company behind two Dutch hardware franchises, Gamma and Karwei. Part of the company’s success is attributable to their embrace of many customers’ Do-It-Yourself mindset by providing videos, suggestions, and other resources along with their products. Most stores are owned by independent entrepreneurs, who are also shareholders. With nearly 400 stores in Belgium and the Netherlands, the company has been a leader in the market for years and is among the top 15 hardware franchises in Europe.
Seeing Your Limits
The company used a linear waterfall approach for years and had not been able to reach its desired level of sales or service. Simon Hansen, Intergamma’s CIO, describes some of the frustrations, “With waterfall, customer wishes were defined at the board level and worked on in project form. Releases were always huge, which meant excellent small opportunities were lost. Intergamma didn’t have in-house developers, so external suppliers built everything remotely. Despite all that effort, we never got quite what we needed.”
The company’s websites were not stable or responsive enough for the amount of traffic. Load times lagged and sales were lost as a result. Transitioning to a cloud-based platform was the clear solution. Xebia was brought in to help with the transition. “Now we can deploy, automate testing, and process feedback much faster,” said Hansen. The websites now use data for cross-promoting products. For example, when a customer buys paint they will see suggestions for paintbrushes. With an omnichannel, cloud-based approach, the website is much more responsive in real-time and has seen a huge increase in sales.
Shaking Things Up
Shifting to an Agile workflow was a big change to the company’s culture and yielded big results. Hansen explained, “An organization that has traditionally been top-down and risk-averse must learn how to move forward. Part of the control must be released to let teams excel.” Luttmer elaborated on how this new approach empowered employees, “Within this dynamic, it is no longer about the one with the most stripes on their shoulders, but about the idea that offers the most.”