Wehkamp: analyzing the failing internet publication process

 

Background

In 2005 The Netherlands´ largest online fashion retailer wanted to increase the frequency of their catalogues from 2 per year to 1 every month and had reorganized its production process to that effect. This also meant that the process to put products online was impacted and adapted. During this period I was the interim manager of the Fashion Art & Copy department and I had to manage the team transition to these new processes.

 

Assignment

After the start of this new process it suddenly became clear that over 2000 images on the website were not correct. It was unclear what caused this, who was responsible, and how we could prevent it from happening again. I was asked to analyze the situation and offer solutions.

 

Role & Result

By applying the Kepner Tregoe method, as well as the Apollo Root Cause method of problem analysis I found the causes and offered solutions. I involved all the people who were part of the process in a workshop to get their insights and input. Subsequently I talked with involved department heads.

 

Causes for this problem turned out to be:

  • Planning and processes were inadequate.
  • Guidelines for web images were unclear.
  • Web images filenames were not distinguishable from catalogue images filenames.
  • There was a capacity problem in the internet department.
  • Communication within the process flow was inadequate.

 

These problems were tackled and in the next publication wave, there were no mistakes.

 

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