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Case study - 2XU

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2XUBusiness

  • Sporting apparel
  • PCs: 74
  • Locations: 18

Challenge

2XU is growing rapidly. A director bringing in multi-million dollar sales deals was being held back by up to 15 hours per week of IT hassles managing Mac & PC environments at head office, mobile users, remote stores and warehouses.

Solution

2XU partnered with Combo® to manage IT for the rapidly growing company. Initiatives have included integration of Mac & PC environments, company-wide implementation of Apparel 21 fashion business ERP software, networking of remotes sites, and Blackberry Enterprise Server to support mobile staff.

Results

Company directors are now focussed on company growth not IT management. IT planning is clearly aligned with business objectives. 100% company growth each year presents challenges for the company, but IT is no longer a logjam.

2XU

Founded in Melbourne in January 2005, 2XU has expanded rapidly and is fast becoming the most technical sports brand in the world. In its first year, 2XU graced the skin of multiple World Champion athletes. 2XU is now the official choice of world-class sports teams, world-champion athletes and pre-eminent sporting bodies including the Australian Institute of Sport.

With an enviable portfolio of world-leading, supremely engineered sporting garments, 2XU has proven a serious force to be reckoned with on the ever-competitive international sporting apparel circuit. 2XU distributors can now be found on every continent, with apparel proudly stocked in over 35 countries.

2XU is chaired by clothing veteran Clyde Davenport (founder & past owner of Davenport Industries), co-directed by former world triathlon athlete Jamie Hunt and marketing specialist Aidan Clarke. The company grows dramatically every year.

The business problem

While compression bandaging has been used in the medical industry for 150 years, only recently have a number of studies confirmed the benefits of wearing compression garments during and after exercise. 2XU Compression represents the pinnacle in high performance compression wear.

Designed and tested in consultation with industry experts, 2XU compression garments and other 2XU sporting apparel employ intelligent physiological design, cutting edge performance fabrics and construction. This Apple Mac-based design business is graphics-intensive with terabytes of design files.

With 300 styles in the range each year in multiple colours and sizes, lots of production facilities, and distribution to 35 countries, simply managing 2XU stock involves complex supply chain management for over 3000 SKUs. The company also directly operates a number of retail outlets to showcase the brand. These 2XU business systems run on Microsoft Windows.

Managing this complex IT environment was taking up to 15 hours per week for 2XU’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Aidan Clarke.

Partnering with Combo

“We did engage another IT company first,” says Aidan Clarke. “I quickly got frustrated though, because they didn’t take ownership of issues.”

“Then I sat down with Combo and it was completely different. They quickly understood our size, our business challenges and they focussed immediately on ways to align IT with the business to support growth. It was music to my ears.”

“When Combo took over IT support, the change was immediately obvious to everyone. Every computer has a sticker on it with contact details for the Combo support desk. They know our network intimately and they immediately resolve most issues remotely.”

“Our Mac and PC environments now work seamlessly together. Our head office team are happy and our remote mobile sales team are connected to head office through Blackberry devices on an Enterprise Server. As we have begun to rollout more company-owned 2XU Performance Centre retail stores they have been seamlessly networked to head office. Combo is there with us every step of the way.”

“Perhaps the most dramatic example of this was when we implemented Apparel 21. This fashion business ERP software integrates every part of our business and replaced our previous systems for planning, product development, supply chain, inventory control, wholesale, retail and finance. The scale of this migration could have been a nightmare. With Combo it was almost painless. After months of planning we migrated successfully to the new system in just one day.”

Business benefits for 2XU

“I don’t think I realised quite how much time I used to spend on IT,” continues Aidan Clarke. “Partnering with Combo has enabled me to let go of IT and focus on the business. The results of having that extra time and mental space have been dramatic. 2XU now boasts vast international distribution and is fast becoming the most technical sports brand in the world.”

“When a simple glitch like a lost password or faulty monitor arises, Combo is there to fix it. When a remote sales rep on the road has a problem, Combo is there to help. When we take another step in our continual expansion, Combo is right there with us. And when there are strategic IT issues to consider to future proof our organisation, Combo is knocking on my door with proactive advice.”

“Every hour I used to spend on IT is time I now spend on the business. Looking back, I can’t believe I left it so long to talk to Combo.”