Europe’s leading home improvement retailer, Kingfisher, was looking for a way to streamline its supply chain and enhance their direct sourcing. As a company that makes do-it-yourself projects easier and more affordable, Kingfisher was facing increasingly difficult logistical challenges with key partners and offices spread out across the globe.
Employees from multiple locations had to travel frequently to meet with buyers and quality control teams in operating companies, resulting in huge travel costs and significant wasted time . Kingfisher found that these issues impeded design processes and the company’s attempts to adopt more agile ways of working.
With the help of IBM Global Business Services and IBM Technical Services, Kingfisher selected and implemented Cisco TelePresence and instantly began seeing cost savings in executive travel and an accelerated product design cycle. Additionally, within 18 months all telepresence rooms achieved an average utilization rate of 70 percent.
Before Cisco TelePresence, Kingfisher relied on sending product prototypes, artwork, or packaging back and forth for people to physically see them before giving feedback and approval. Consequently, any phase of the design cycle would take weeks to complete, driving up costs and delaying time to market and ultimately revenue. By creating this video-enabled supply chain, the company was able to shorten design cycles from weeks to days and accelerate go-to-market resulting in higher profitability.
Telepresence was also instrumental in bringing together Kingfisher’s global workforce more efficiently to enable better communication and more productivity. With the help of Cisco TelePresence, Kingfisher established the Kingfisher Brand Network, a virtual organization that incorporates everyone involved in direct sourcing and allows them to connect more people in supply chain more frequently and in-person.