Tata International Wolverine Brands Limited (TIWBL) is a joint venture between Tata International and Wolverine World Wide Incorporated for the distribution of Wolverine's Merrell and Caterpillar Footwear products in India. Wolverine World Wide is a premium global fashion manufacturer and marketer of branded footwear, apparel, and accessories, while Tata International manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including apparel and footwear.
“The consulting team at TCS possesses business and technical expertise, is sensitive to timelines, and has the ability to engage clients effectively.”
-Ashish Diwanji - CFO, Tata International Wolverine Brands Limited (TIWBL)
TIWBL set up its operations based on the principles of a Lean Startup and leveraged the concept of 'validated learning', which involves making iterative changes and validating results by monitoring customer response.
To support a Lean team, considerable digitization and automation of operational processes was necessary. The main aim was to establish a Lean setup in a new geography, since TIWBL wanted to quickly and effectively implement the business plan through defined approaches. Some crucial issues TIWBL faced included:
- Pressure on its go-to-market cycle: The current cycle was nine months, as compared with the target of six months. In the retail industry, particularly the fashion retail segment, go-to-market delays cause loss of sales as well as reputation.
- Delays in arrival of merchandise resulted in customer dissatisfaction and reduced operating margins.
- The lack of adequate communication and visibility between departments and with external partners led to costs and inefficiencies.
In this consulting engagement, TCS helped TIWBL establish sound business principles, a capability matrix, greater process ownership, and concrete business performance metrics. As the overall objective was to bring business process and IT investments in line with the Lean operational practices, we began the engagement by identifying and addressing the most critical issues. We helped TIWBL achieve the intended objectives with solutions such as:
- The capability heat-map: We identified TIWBL's core business capabilities across the value chain, and assessed their maturity levels of each capability. We stratified these capabilities across the planning, execution, support, and governance business functions and created a priority list. The capability heat-map was created, equipped with multiple problem-solving enablers such as planning calendars, balanced scorecards, analysis templates, as well as the Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) Matrix.
- Accurate process models: We created an inventory of processes across the value chain, mapped them to the identified business capabilities and recommended solutions for around 200 processes, with detailed solution designs for the 80 most critical processes.
- Process design document: We created a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document for TIWBL, which established detailed processes and addressed the various scenarios that could materialize in a particular process.
- IT roadmap: We facilitated the alignment of business and IT processes, providing recommendations on IT products and governed ERP implementation.
Our partnership provided TIWBL with further measurable business benefits in the first 15 months since the company started operations in India:
- Reduced go-to-market cycles from 9 months to 7 months
- Reduced process error rates from 70% to 15%, leading to enhanced overall efficiency and faster turnaround
- Improved operating margins by up to 10 percent
- Enhanced scalability of solutions for up to five times he existing product volumes
- Reduced total costs by 7%