The client is a travel experience company turning the world of travel into a world of opportunity by being the “Traveler’s Best Friend” in more than 1,000 stores in airports, commuter hubs, landmarks and tourist locations. The client’s 10,000+ team members care for travelers as friends at travel convenience, specialty retail, duty free and food & beverage destinations. At the intersection of travel and retail, they partner with landlords and vendors, and take innovative, commercial approaches to deliver exceptional value.
With an interest to evolve the travel retail experience & expand their footprint, the company acquired another company’s airport store assets for 30 locations in Q4 2019. This deal enabled the client to strengthen their specialty retail portfolio by adding a trusted brand and expanding their product offering. The client will now be the exclusive airport retailer for another company’s brand inclusive of travel, electronics, and everyday gadgets, a strategic decision to support the client’s long-term growth strategy.
In order to set the new partnership up for success and long-term cost efficiencies, the client partnered with Clarkston Consulting to develop a system conversion strategy to align the new acquisition of stores and systems with the current client suite of systems. In doing so, the acquired brand would follow the same IT roadmap as the core client group, creating efficiencies across brands and simplifying the overall technical architecture.
The primary objectives for the post-acquisition IT strategy project team were to harmonize systems, business processes, data structures, and best practices across all locations. In addition to harmonizing, the team wanted to streamline the IT landscape to effectively integrate the acquired company’s systems with the client’s existing systems in a cost-effective manner. The outcome was a transition model to apply to future acquisitions as the company expands their travel footprint and continues to grow.
The resolution included facilitating a thorough system audit of all hardware and system usage for the client and it’s acquired company. The post-acquisition IT strategy team also selected the POS, IM, network, and credit card payment systems to support these processes based on system audit and market research. In addition the system transition was managed and worked on collaboratively with the Retail Operations team to ensure overall success, while designing support processes during and post-transition to ensure seamless change.
The key benefits and outcomes for this project included the harmonization of systems, IT support, business processes, master data, and reporting across the company’s existing and acquired brands. Long-term cost savings, greater consistency across the organization and acquired stores in alignment with the existing IT landscape and brand, heightened visibility of metrics for reporting, and SOX and PCI compliance by mitigating risks were just some of the overall key benefits. To read and learn more, download a copy of the full case study below.