Shimano Europe, part of the multinational Team Shimano, is a leading sales and distributor of cycling, rowing, and fishing equipment and accessories. Founded in 1921 in Sakai City, Osaka, Japan, as Shimano Ironworks, the company originally started making the bicycle single freewheel. Nowadays, the company aims to promote health and happiness through outdoor activities. Shimano has its European headquarters in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and combined with offices throughout the world, has over 12,000 employees. The company recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary complete with a special website and limited edition commemorative photo book.
Streamlining: The Key to Success
To re-align with its strategic business values, Shimano needed to update its increasingly complex IT environment. Everyday processes such as back-office applications for sales, warehousing, marketing, finance, and customer relationships management were growing extensively as the company increased its market share. They asked Xebia to create a more efficient, agile IT landscape with their customer-centric approach in mind. Toine Siemenrink, ICT manager of Shimano Europe explains: “With the help of their solution architects and an internal team from different disciplines, we created what we now call: Shimano Customer Oriented Architecture (SCOA). This paved the way for IT to support new projects and initiatives from business and make a shift from being reactive to proactive.
Ideate, Improve, Innovate
Shimano wanted to simplify things. They wanted to get rid of time-consuming and inefficient workflows and make room for new initiatives and innovation. “Xebia rose to the occasion with their large framework of knowledge,” Siemenrink explained. “Their experts came in and created a plan of action. They performed a full audit working with our own IT-related teams as well as external suppliers,” he said. This resulted in a full redesign of the system allowing for seamless, cross-functional integration, new features, and most importantly innovation.
Freedom to Move
With its ever-changing supply and demand and an even savvier customer base, Shimano knew it had to refresh its information technology infrastructure to meet those demands. A leaner, pragmatic approach was necessary. “Xebia knew exactly what was needed,” said Siemenrink. "They structured the network with an easy-to-use interface and new features. Gone was the unnecessary layering of old and new applications. Instead, a user-friendly design was implemented to support a customer forward, proactive approach. Xebia’s experts worked hand-in-hand with us to assess the situation and build a new IT architecture. And they did so all in a matter of months," said the ICT manager.