The sky is the limit at Lorna Jane

When Lorna Jane embarked on a complex digital transformation project to turbocharge innovation and flexibility, AgilyCom provided a foundation it could rely on today and into the future.

Established in 1989, Lorna Jane is a pioneer Australian active wear retailer who has earned its place as an iconic brand in the region. Lorna Jane is a fast-paced business, with 12 seasons a year, who wants to be able to quickly execute on new strategies.

The business is driven by pillars of innovation, sustainability and helping customers live their best active life, with an exceptional product. The roadblock it faced was a complex legacy environment that required a lot of management, and where issues that arose had knock-on effects for the business.

When Chief Technology Officer, Peter Clarke, joined the business, he brought the innovative mindset for technology that mirrored Lorna Jane’s forward-thinking approach that is part of the retailer’s DNA.

Best-of-breed strategy to support innovation

Peter was keen to adopt a best-of-breed strategy for the Lorna Jane technology environment. This modern approach reduces reliance on heavy monolithic business systems and instead leverages lighter fit-for-purpose “microservices” . Although recognised as the future for successful unified commerce, with the ever increasing volume of micro-services and complexity, this approach relies on high-performing integration to deliver agility, flexibility and accuracy of data everywhere.

When considering a solution for his integration needs, Peter explains his view: “I’m a big fan of finding managed services with good partners, and where the architecture of the solution meets the needs of our system. How does it grow? How does it scale? How is it supported? When something goes wrong, does it affect everything?”

As part of the transformation, Lorna Jane had already selected new best-of-breed ERP and POS solutions. They also understood that their future opportunities (and challenges) lay within the increasingly complex retail landscape of multiple systems, web apps, marketplaces, eCommerce sites, supplier portals and physical outlets across multiple geographies.

Lorna Jane recognised that this was the perfect time to look at their integration process and identify a single integration service which could connect their data in the best possible way.

Integration that keeps up with pace and complexity

Given the pace of the business, their customer-focus, the complexity of the environment, and their continuous innovation strategy, Lorna Jane needed an integration solution which could keep up, and deliver ongoing flexibility and reliability.

Peter comments:

“Our retail sector likes to try new things regularly. Our founders are really forward thinking, and we needed a platform that would deliver stability while allowing us to innovate quickly”

This complex set of challenges led Lorna Jane to select AgilyCom as its integration solution. Delivering integration-as-a-managed-service, AgilyCom connects complex technology systems in a modern way, and also provides an ongoing managed service that frees up IT teams to focus on enabling business strategy.

Innovation is in Lorna Jane’s DNA. We like to have the freedom to try new things regularly, and sometimes we have to pivot on a dime. We like to flex: make changes, try new services and deploy at speed.”

Peter Clarke, CTO, Lorna Jane

Stability and scalability are key

When asked about the number one benefit of AgilyCom, Peter immediately says “Stability is one really big thing for us. We wanted a solution that could manage the stability of the system for us – so it should deliver things like exception handling, retries and proactively monitoring of all our services. With AgilyCom, we know that when something goes wrong, the product automatically tries again and resolves issues before they becomes a bigger problem”

AgilyCom also delivers scalability for Lorna Jane. Peter comments “It is very performant. We have had challenges where the previous integrations couldn’t keep up with scale – especially at top volume – but with AgilyCom we have no problems, because by it’s very design, the solution will scale as we head in to our peak seasons”

Partnership made the difference

Lorna Jane initially considered AgilyCom because of its reputation as more than just a traditional iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service). The business believed it would get most value from an offering which leveraged proven experience with integrating retail systems, and which brought a real understanding of business processes to the table, and a sense of partnership.

AgilyCom has become a trusted technology partner of Lorna Jane, contributing significantly to the overarching transformation project.

Peter comments:

“Our partnership is absolutely key. AgilyCom is architected to do what we want, but absolutely it’s the partnership that matters most to me. We have alignment of vision, and work very closely with the team. They understand we need to quickly change directions sometimes and we really appreciate that”

David Carlisle, CEO of AgilyCom, says working with Lorna Jane has been inspiring “Lorna Jane are really our model customer. They are very forward-thinking and innovative, and are making clever choices in the way they are approaching their technology strategy. This will be a foundation for their growth in a new era of retail. We look forward to being part of their future success”

Freed up to focus on being Lorna Jane

AgilyCom is a managed service, which Peter rates as the key differentiator for the solution. It means that after the initial implementation is complete, the system continues to be monitored round the clock – identifying and automatically healing errors, with oversight by a team that is fluent with the Lorna Jane environment.

Going forward, it means Lorna Jane can focus its technical activity into enabling growth, supporting innovative strategy and responding to market changes, rather than day-to-day system maintenance. Additionally, they are able to work with the same team on their transformation journey.

With built-in understanding of the ecosystem – AgilyCom makes it easy for Lorna Jane to be agile with technology – to respond, experiment and try out different approaches.

The Win for Lorna Jane

Fully monitored integration, 24/7 support, and high-availability service delivers peace of mind and means Lorna Jane can focus on what they are best at: taking a thriving and innovative international active wear brand to the next-level.

About Lorna Jane

Lorna Jane is a leading Australian activewear retailer headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland and founded by Lorna Jane Clarkson. It offers a wide range of high quality, affordable women’s workout clothes. Committed to excellence in its brand, product quality and customer service it strives to influence women to live positive active lives. Lorna Jane has regional offices in Australia, Asia and the USA and sells globally.

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