Said about Ascend
Ascend helped us approach and define our IT strategy by creating an environment where organizational involvement, easy-to-use tools and a perfect balance between high-level and detailed questions led us to a roadmap that will support our business and overall strategy going forward
(Johanna Palm, CFO)
Odd Molly is a retailer with about half a billion SEK in turnover which designs, sells and distributes fashion for women. The main market is Sweden, but they have a presence in the major markets of Europe, the US and Australia.
Situation and challenge
Odd Molly was established in the early 2000’s and enjoyed strong growth and increase in brand recognition. After a few tough years around 2010, the agenda is once again geared towards growth. At the same time, the fashion market has changed rapidly, with a large and increasing share of sales in digital channels (mobile and web).
With high ambitions to grow the business, Odd Molly started to feel the need for modern, fit-for-purpose and cost-effective IT systems to support their growth journey. After an unsuccessful attempt to modernize part of the IT landscape, Odd Molly realized the need for a holistic, structured approach, rather than solving one piece of the puzzle at the time. They realized the need for an IT Strategy based on business drivers to set direction for the modernization.
Our role and approach for the assignment
Ascend was asked to help develop this strategy. In tight dialogue with Ascend, Odd Molly decided to go for a short and intense project, which was time and cost-effective but put pressure on both Odd Molly as well as the Ascend team. In a short current situation analysis, Ascend worked iteratively with the lead for each business area to capture the essence in a gap analysis. A number of workshops were then held with the management team to conclude the analysis and determine the high-level direction.
Results and benefits
Odd Molly now has an IT strategy that supports the company’s overall goals, sets the direction, and defines the strategic principles and key initiatives for the next steps off the journey. The strategy captured - in the spirit and culture of Odd Molly – the situation, priorities and direction going forward in a way that made sense to and resonated with the whole organization.
According to Odd Molly, one key to success was that the project had a clear approach and provided relevant, easy-to-use tools that helped derive a number of key insights in an inclusive way. For example, one key consideration was how to realize the needed capabilities: should it be in a “best-of-breed”, a “one-system” or “a few core systems” approach? A strategic principle was defined, with easy-to-understand and concrete reasoning around cost for acquisition and maintenance, supply of competence, integration needs and Odd Molly’s breadth of business needs. This principle set the long-term direction: realization should be done with a few core systems, a principle named the “Happy Few” approach, to follow the “Look and Feel” of the Odd Molly brand.
With a common view and set of priorities, the organization is now better prepared to drive the growth agenda the coming years.