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Freedom Furniture powers company and customer experience transformation with Boomi

Freedom Furniture powers company and customer experience transformation with Boomi

AustralasiaCase StudiesRetailSoftwareTop Stories

Iconic furniture and homeware brand Freedom Furniture establishes a single view of operations, customers and supply chain with Boomi-integrated data. Benefits include the ability to accurately track online orders, keep pace with demand and ensure the company adapts and evolves quickly with everything under a singular view.

Freedom Furniture has chosen the Boomi AtomSphere Platform to intelligently connect its IT environment.

With Boomi, a leader in intelligent connectivity and automation, the company was able to create a singular view of all data to drive operational transformation, support a product evolution and enable personalized customer experiences across brick-and-mortar and ecommerce operations.

A leading furniture and homewares retailer, Freedom operates 58 stores across Australia and New Zealand. Following a period of underperformance, the company established a design-led and technology-enabled turnaround strategy, digitally transforming itself to streamline operations, overcome fulfilment and delivery challenges, and improve customer experience in-store and online.

Critical to this plan was creating an IT environment capable of supporting its transition to a dynamic business in a booming industry and centralising data to improve decision-making. The company selected Boomi to enable an omni-channel business model, where in-store and online experiences are equally seamless and customers can get the products they want, how and when they want them, whether visiting a store or shopping online.

Richard McPartlin, Chief Information Officer at Freedom

Richard McPartlin, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Freedom, was appointed to stabilise Freedom’s technology challenges and build new digital capabilities and services for the business and its customers in Australia and New Zealand.

“Freedom is a bricks and mortar company, and that’s important for the furniture industry where customers want to feel our products before taking home a new couch, dining set or otherwise,” said McPartlin. “However, we’ve also rapidly expanded into homewares and simultaneously seen our ecommerce business explode with demand – particularly throughout the pandemic when shoppers aren’t spending for travel and can’t visit us.

“When customers go online to purchase, it’s essential that we deliver the same experience they’ve come to know in-store. Australians want a personalized ‘Dominos Pizza’ experience, and Boomi is the beating heart connecting our many limbs so we can accurately track online orders, keep pace with the demand, and ensure Freedom adapts and evolves quickly with everything under a singular view.”

Freedom is using Boomi’s low code, cloud-native integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to integrate dozens of business-critical systems that make up its best-of-breed technology environment, including SAP Commerce Cloud ecommerce, Fluent order management (OMS), Shippit shipping management, and Triquestra’s Infinity point-of-sale (POS) systems.

With more than 170 integrations built and deployed, Boomi also securely consolidates all of Freedom’s operational, customer and transactional data within a centralized software interface in real-time, creating a singular view of every part of the business.

Freedom relies on this accurate, up-to-date data to inform business decisions pertaining to products, supply chain and sourcing, and customer interactions. It is also used to personalize every transaction, so that customers are kept informed from the moment they make a purchase through to delivery, and to deliver personalized recommendations through Freedom’s My Loyalty customer loyalty program.

Benefits also extend to Freedom’s internal design team, which is responsible for researching and inspiring the latest styles to stock its warehouses and stores. Boomi delivers data to Freedom’s sourcing teams, which can now better identify, secure and onboard local suppliers with design flare.

“We’re continuing to increase the blend of affordable quality offered with distinctive Aussie design flare, and our goal to bring in more Australian and New Zealand suppliers – from mattresses right through to furniture and homewares – has overwhelmingly been supported by the consistent view of data Boomi enables,” said McPartlin.

Additionally, Freedom’s Boomi investment has yielded outcomes for employees. According to its staff engagement survey, Freedom has increased engagement with workers – from in-store retail assistants, to warehouse teams and head office – by using data to better deliver the right tools and services that enable them to do their jobs efficiently.

“Historically, IT was a back-room function that worked in the dark with highly-customized bespoke applications that weren’t always delivering what the broader business needed. Boomi has been the driving force in turning this around, and has effectively moved IT from the backroom to the boardroom,” said McPartlin.

“Boomi integrates every corner of our application and data stack, from point-of-sale (POS) to customer delivery, and from product management to website ecommerce. As we introduce new systems, Boomi’s low-code capabilities make it quick and easy to ‘plug-and-play’ new technology investments and accelerates the launch of additional services for our customers.

“If we hadn’t built these integrations with Boomi, we wouldn’t have been able to stabilise our decoupled application architecture, and Freedom would not have been able to complete its turnaround, nor realized the subsequent outcomes of happier customers and improved financial performance.”

With a modernized integration framework in place, Freedom is now considering deploying Boomi APIs and API Management tool to maintain real-time data transfer between its best-of-breed systems. Future projects will also see it reviewing Boomi’s data cataloguing, master data management and process automation features.

McPartlin, who has led large-scale IT architecture rebuilds using various integration platforms in previous roles, said Boomi is the only product capable of handling highly-sophisticated technology requirements at scale, and without extensive maintenance requirements.

“It’s very easy to buy new technology systems, with new options entering the market weekly. But Boomi’s on-the-ground specialists and process expertise allowed us to really harness its platform’s capabilities. With the help of Boomi and partners, we could ‘measure twice and cut once’ to ensure we not only implement effectively the first time but can also scale as we continue to grow and add new products and services for our customers,” he said.

Nathan Gower, Managing Director A/NZ at Boomi, said: “Freedom Furniture’s Digital Transformation is not only bringing customers an incredible selection of furniture and homewares, but making every interaction a seamless and personalized one as shoppers update and refurnish their homes and home offices. With Boomi connecting all the digital dots in the organization, Freedom has the data and insights it needs to better understand what customers want, and therefore source unique – and increasingly local – products that are reminiscent of this iconic, heritage brand.”

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