Customer spotlight story: Horze
Horze, a leading supplier of horse-riding apparel and equipment, jumped to new heights with inriver and SoftwareOne.
Inriver helps Horze increase the horsepower of its e-commerce solution.
Horze is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of horse-riding apparel and equipment, employing 200 people globally with 19 web stores in 13 different languages and 14 equestrian stores in six countries. The company’s product catalog includes horseshoes, racing harnesses, trotting equipment, and many other equestrian essentials with a total of 45,000 products and approximately 280,000 SKUs. Horze maintains an extensive distribution network from the USA to Europe and Australia and offers both Horze-branded own-brand and third-party products, achieving a considerable depth of distribution.
In 2018, the company began a far-reaching business transformation to adopt the latest digital technologies to future-proof its business. The inriver PIM plays a central role in this transformation. We spoke with Christian Terporten, head of content management at Horze, about the journey the company is taking together with partner SoftwareOne.
Horze’s multinational operations
In pursuing this digital-first business evolution, Horze identified many challenges and gaps in their existing technology ecosystem including a dated ERP, highly manual and inefficient business processes, and disparate software components, all of which contributed to a general lack of transparent data management and wasted time. It was no longer possible to expand functionality on the existing technology stack, let alone integrate modern and future-proof software.
An additional driver of the need to evolve their data management and technology capabilities was the explosion of online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Competitors had already begun selling on these websites, and Horze needed a better strategy to provide product data in the different formats each marketplace required. As a result, the company decided to introduce a new ERP system and a modern and powerful PIM. To do justice to the multi-layered business model and the highly variable product portfolio, the requirement was a PIM solution that could function as a single point of truth for managing all product data and with advanced syndication capabilities.
By replacing its outdated software with the inriver PIM solution, Horze could successfully implement the desired concept of a single point of truth to managing product data. This approach applies to the entire lifecycle, from creating an article and SKU numbers to adding basic characteristics to publishing product information. The high-performance collaboration between inriver, the new ERP, and the CRM (Salesforce) created a smooth, redundancy-free ecosystem. The updated centralized, hierarchical data model enables maximum efficiency and provides real-time insights into data management processes. Accurate reporting supports product performance evaluation and staff decision-making processes.
One feature tailor-made for Horze’s business model is the powerful inriver syndication solution. This invaluable asset is a high-performance product information-sharing functionality available out of the box in the PIM. It enables easy and highly efficient data distribution into Google Shopping and Facebook Ads environments and across the sophisticated template of the Amazon marketplace. This feature has saved Horze from having to search through 5 to 10 interfaces and has significantly streamlined the end-to-end process to publication.
The introduction of the PIM system has also eliminated time-consuming manual interventions. The positive effect was felt immediately, particularly in handling variants at the SKU level, because the use of Excel files and external software has been eliminated.
The rule-based completion of product information, which inriver performs automatically, also ensures the highest possible efficiency in the content creation process. Instead of laboriously collecting data by hand from different systems, employees can now leave the creation and publication of content to the system.
IT management decided on inriver and SoftwareOne as implementation partner after viewing several convincing case studies documenting the success of comparable projects in companies in the fashion industry.
For Christian Terporten, the inriver PIM is a game-changer in the daily content management work routine thanks to the excellent design of the inriver logic for template-based mapping and the service competence provided by SoftwareOne.
Horze particularly benefits from the high performance of the PIM system. Initial problems with the response speed of the web front end were quickly resolved thanks to SoftwareOne’s professional support.
SoftwareOne provided expert knowledge, professionalism, and empathy to help employees shift their thinking and way of working within a hierarchical model. The team can now focus on providing basic information and leave the completion of variants down to an SKU level for the automated PIM functions.
“At Horze, we welcome changes that help us streamline our processes. As a result, employees quickly embraced the new PIM solution and recognized its benefits. The challenge was more technical, i.e., the changeover to the new data model and how it works. Thanks to the technical expertise and understanding support of our implementation partners from SoftwareOne, the Horze team was able to change their thinking quickly and work productively with the system.”
Christian Terporten, Head of Content Management at Horze
By choosing the inriver PIM solution, Horze ensures that multimedia product content comprehensively informs the target group of riding apparel enthusiasts according to their interests, encouraging them to buy.
The inriver PIM solution is optimized for both the user experience of consumers and internal employees. The workforce at Horze was optimistic about PIM from the start, reinforced by the experience of greater efficiency and transparency in their day-to-day work. PIM is used by a variety of functions including content managers, product marketers, category managers, and marketplace managers, and the teams that manage the web store can call up information.
PIM is also used at the management level for detailed data tracking and reporting, sharing and evaluating data and statistics at regular intervals creating an overview, for example, of how many products are online or launched in different seasons. Detailed reporting is also crucial for accurately handling its range of products, including many seasonal products that must be available on time.
Completing the PIM implementation, especially the connection of the web store in its function as the most important sales channel, is imminent at Horze. The integration is also intended to increase the web store’s speed because the rule-based functions that slow down the response behavior will be eliminated.
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