Facing increased competition, City Beach Australia decided to continue improving its customer experience by upgrading its web platform with the help of a key financing partner.
City Beach re-engaged IBM to upgrade its IBM WebSphere Application Server platform with funding and a structured payment plan from IBM Global Financing.
Improves cash flowby spreading out payments
Supports competitivenessby helping City Beach implement the latest web technology
Provides flexibilityso that City Beach can easily handle project adjustments
Business challenge story
Upgrading web technology
City Beach takes an extremely agile approach to running its business. In 2009, when the company decided to develop an online store, it set and met an aggressive goal of creating and launching its website within 100 days. “The two gentlemen who started the company way back in 1985 still own the business,” says Kushlan de Alwis, Chief Financial Officer at City Beach. “And they are very much involved in the business, which allows us to be quite nimble in terms of our decision making. We’re not hampered by bureaucracy or multiple layers of hierarchy.”
So when the organization faced increased competition from local brands and larger global e-commerce retailers, it decided to continue improving its customer experience by upgrading its web platform and taking advantage of innovations in web technology with the help of a key financing partner.
Financing through IBM Global Financing
City Beach had relied on IBM Global Financing to fund its software licensing fees since 2009, when it initially created its website. Eight years later, the company turned to IBM Global Financing again. “It’s very important for me as a CFO that we have the right technology,” says de Alwis, who played an active role in making the technology decisions as well as the financial decisions. “If we get our technology right, the business will follow.”
City Beach re-engaged IBM Global Financing to upgrade its IBM WebSphere Application Server platform, which is funded by IBM Global Financing through a structured payment plan. “We’ve always been fortunate that IBM Global Financing has seen fit to partner with us in terms of a funding solution that works for the business,” says de Alwis. As part of the project, City Beach is upgrading its WebSphere software, streamlining its internal data processing and management processes, and adding a product information management system.
In Australia, it can sometimes be difficult for businesses to obtain financing for software projects, because banks typically want to see a tangible asset with a potential residual or resale value. “It’s a great boon for businesses like ours that IBM Global Financing provides these opportunities so that we can invest in IT and software systems, which then improve our competitiveness within the industry both here in Australia and beyond,” says de Alwis.
Spreading out payments for the website upgrade project over a specified period as opposed to large cash outlays helps the business better manage cash flow. And when City Beach needed to make minor adjustments to the project timing and scope, de Alwis found the IBM Global Financing team flexible and accommodating.
About City Beach Australia
City Beach is an Australian fashion retailer selling over 300 local and international brands. The business has been in operation since 1985 and has physical locations across Australia, including in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland. The City Beach online store is one of Australia’s largest, offering consumers a range of apparel, accessories, hardware and footwear with a focus on surf, skate and street lifestyles.