What started out as a parent company for the Coolcat retail brand, has turned into a vast investment empire reaching far and wide including technology, real estate and fashion. The technology investments include solutions for finance, insurance, property and education. Cool Investments aims to buy one property for each two properties they rent. This has led to a lot of acquisitions within the Benelux, as well as real estate investments in the USA and Germany.
Since the inception of Coolcat, The Fashion Group has become a global group with popular fashion brands like America Today, Coolcat Junior, MS Mode, V&D and Sapph.
The e-commerce side of MS Mode, America Today, Coolcat Junior and V&D are all hosted on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform. The brands were all built separately and differ greatly from one another. The existing situation allowed for a decent maintenance of the webshops, but there was never much buffer for innovation. FORWARD will help the fashion group with closing the gap on what the existing webshops can do and what Salesforce has to offer. Cool Investments also has great ambitions in wanting to expand on their e-commerce operations. With more Commerce Cloud developers, as well as dedicated teams for testers and designers.
A very complex existing set-up spanning across multiple brands is always going to require a sophisticated solution. Cool Investments work together with a large array of different third parties. The foundation for succes was always present, but the refinement and improvements definitely came with their own set of unique challenges.
We brought forward a solution to rethink the current project-approach, which led to changes within the existing Cool Investments development team.
Cool Investments had already been working agile, we have further refined on those principles. Introducing longer sprints, with an emphasis on building larger implementations during the duration of one sprint. The use of the ticket system within the Atlassian-tool suite was further perfected, which made project management a lot more manageable.
FORWARD was also responsible for a complete revamp of the development team. In the past there was a product owner who also functioned as a scrum master and technical lead. With three developers at his disposal. One Senior Front-End, a Senior Back-End, and Junior Back-End Developer.
This together with FORWARD evolved into the Cool Investments x FORWARD Hybrid team. Cool Investments is responsible for the long-term roadmap and project coordination, product ownership, and the development on front-end level. FORWARD ensures best practises used at all their clients seep through to Cool Investments. We also manage the day-to-day operations and all development in the back-end.
Other involvements include rethinking the designs. As we sat together with the e-commerce managers a lot of interesting ideas came up, and we decided to bring in one of our very talented designers. Designs include a new product detail page, as-well as a new “shop the look” module.
A fully functional hybrid team, where we respect that FORWARD and Cool Investments are two separate entities, but we still work as one team. The new project approach has allowed for a new way of working where project expectations better match the project results. As a consequence we’ve been able to move a lot of mountains. An enormous list of implementations and features were built.
Example of a large integration: Integrating Voyado onto SFCC.
Voyado is a CRM-platform that allows for a very enhanced customer loyalty program. The integration within SFCC was a large undertaking. But with a successful launch behind us, and all parties involved satisfied with the results. We can say the Voyado implementation was a great success.
Page designer, a SFCC implementation that allows content managers to build beautiful custom home pages, PLP’s,PDP’s and content pages, was also fully realised for America Today.
There’s still many innovative projects in the pipeline. One is to realise a unified white-label approach. Where we’re going to look at trying to unify the Cool Investments brands into one codebase.
“A different project approach combined with a very capable team. Putting these together has led us to a very successful recipe. We’ve been able to deliver large integrations with satisfied customers. As-well as improving upon what already worked for Cool Investments.”
Matthias, Project Manager