LSE Retail Group

Client:

LSE Retail Group

Date Completed:

December 2021
“We’re operating in a completely different way now. We can make better decisions using data that wasn’t previously available to us – e.g. Amazon, Facebook and Ebay APIs”
Simon Haughton, Marketing Director

Business Problem:

LSE were attempting to build a cloud platform in Azure; due to inexperience it was a prolonged process of trial and error which was inefficient and costly, and at the point we were engaged had not been successful.

What we delivered:

A fully secure and resilient completed Azure architecture which enabled them to migrate from their existing on-premise solution, and establishing a solid technical foundation for building advanced data and analytics capabilities.

How it benefitted the client:

A 50% monthly reduction on their Cloud architecture costs on completion, with an opportunity to increase this to 80% on decommissioning the on-premise architecture.

What we did

About LSE Retail Group

LSE Retail Group is a rapidly growing online retailer of lighting for the home. Established in 2009, they fulfil more than 1,000,000 orders a year from their modern distribution facility in Manchester, UK. With brands including Iconic Lights and Value Lights sitting within the group, LSE Retail Group are one of the largest online retailers of lights in the UK. They were named the fastest-growing medium-sized business by the 2016 Ward Hadaway Greater Manchester Fastest 50 Companies list, and ranked number one on the Investec Mid-Market 100 league table in 2015.

 

The Project Brief

LSE Retail Group have ambitious plans for growth, and in the ever-evolving retail market, this means staying competitive, relevant, and able to provide customers with excellent end to end service. They recognised that the first step to controlled, successful growth was scalability. They knew that by laying the groundwork with cutting edge architecture, this would enable them to grow, scale and adapt to the changing needs of their customer base much better.

After discussing in detail their long-term plans in late 2021, it became clear that LSE’s aspirations for growth and change were significant. To provide confidence and further clarity on future project work, we agreed to run a small project to start with, to develop trust and to showcase the benefits we could deliver to LSE. We agreed that a review of LSE’s existing architecture was required to enable us to design a technical solution that was better aligned to LSE’s growth plans.

 

Their Main Challenge

Like many large businesses, LSE’s architecture had over time grown in cost and complexity, with an increasing reliance on individual knowledge to maintain and service. They wanted to move toward a solution that removed unnecessary complexity, enabled flexible, rapid development, and to reduce on going expenditure on maintaining on-premise technology. LSE had made attempts to move into the cloud space, but had yet to realise any tangible benefits.

They were relying on a code-heavy on-premise solution to access their data, which presented risks in terms of employee knowledge sharing, potential infrastructure failures and lack of scalability. With LSE’s growth aspirations, their existing plans for data and analytics were a limitation to scalability. Moving toward newer technologies and more advanced analytics was their opportunity to unlock significant value from their existing suite of data. There was a clear need to modernise and bring in more advanced, relevant technological and analytical capabilities.

 

“As an e-commerce retailer that has grown rapidly, we were data rich but unsure about how to utilise it. We wanted to bring all our data together but didn’t have the necessary experience to achieve those goals.“

 

The Process

For projects like this, we believe our role is to identify solutions on the client’s behalf based on the goals and objectives given to us. Utilising a ‘lakehouse’ architecture, data from standard retail platforms were housed in a cloud-based data lake. A proof of concept data warehouse was constructed to replace an existing code-based process, ultimately delivering an automated report to the Executive Board. This process replaced an existing schedule that was regularly failing. The platform has been utilised for an analytical deep-dive into new customer acquisition and is designed to incorporate future growth.

We supported the LSE employees by providing technical training and upskilling as part of our service. A robust project management framework was used throughout to manage the project, ensuring quality was never compromised. Through weekly progress reporting we were able to foresee any potential hurdles, taking an Agile approach and delivering benefits as early as possible. We believe communication is key, and regularly held sessions to present back what we had built, to highlight findings and opportunities, and to ensure the product being delivered remained aligned with LSE’s expectations.

 

“We found great value from the initial approach by Anumana; asking the right questions of the business and making us think about what was truly important. We felt confident with the Anumana team who showed experience and credibility. It was important for us to work with people that actually understood the retail sector as well as the technical elements, which Anumana quickly demonstrated with their immediate understanding of common retail specific terms”

 

What We Delivered

By the time the project completed, LSE were able to start realising a 50% reduction of their monthly costs from their existing cloud architecture. The low code solution was more useable and maintainable for a less technical audience. Redundant services were removed, improving efficiency, and security was improved, mitigating against exploitation risks.

There was a further 30% cost saving accessible upon migration away from, and decommissioning of, the on premise infrastructure. In an extension to the original project scope, we were also able to automate key business reporting, removing manual and onerous manipulation of Excel data. Most importantly, we left LSE with a platform that enabled them to press forward with their ambitious plans for growth.

 

“We’re operating in a completely different way now. We can make better decisions using data that previously was unavailable to us e.g. Amazon, Facebook and Ebay APIs. It’s given us an ability to better understand what we’ve done operationally and what we can do better. Anumana would enable us to think about things in very different ways to how we’ve been thinking before. We now know that there is far more to data and analytics than what we initially thought was available. Not only that, they were always true to their word and our budgets. They provided us with alternatives and options to still provide us value within our budget constraints, rather than saying no.”

Perch Group

Successfully hiring a graduate analyst through a technical assessment centre process

LSE Retail Group

Delivering over 50% cost saving on an Azure Cloud Infrastructure build

Have a project in mind?
Let’s talk!

Have a project in mind?
Let’s talk!

Have a project in mind?
Let’s talk!