CIO of Pierce AB
“Introducing Sustainable Change”
According to Julia Brundin, Chief Information Officer of Pierce Group, in an entrepreneurial startup company, one typically finds a great commercial flexibility and agility level, and the level of complexity is generally low. Systems, processes and the organization are designed somewhat opportunistically to support the day-to-day business and capitalize quickly on new opportunities. “However, as the business evolves you run into new opportunities and you become smarter in how to run the operation. Bit by bit both the complexity and the legacy grows as the business continues to expand,” she explains. “And then you get to a point where the set-up becomes so complex that development cost and time to market force a more radical mind shift. You can no longer take short cuts, but need to shift focus to stability, robustness, IT professionalization and a clean enterprise architecture, while at the same time enabling your commercial business to scale.”
"To drive change, you need to have the courage to challenge the current state, set a clear vision of where you want to go and then you need to get the snowball in motion"
At Pierce, an online retailer where technology provides the foundation for all customer interactions, this shift was crucial. “When I joined Pierce, we were at the point where we could no longer run faster. Patching and repairing our monolithic IT set-up was no longer an option,” says Julia. “IT was more of a blocker than an enabler for business. In that context it has been my mission to professionalize the way we work with our information assets, streamline our IT landscape and ensure we utilize our IT competence in the most effective way to enable the continued success of the company.”
Julia has been working in different countries in the role of consultant and in-house IT functions. She has been active in business and public sector organizations. With this experience, Julia has gained a broad perspective on driving large and complex change agendas. Independent of organization, she prefers to operate in fast-moving organizations with high ambitions, strong customer orientation, and ambitions to build best-class operational capabilities. Therefore, sustainable change has been Julia’s theme for the last decade. “To drive change, you need to have the courage to challenge the current state, set a clear vision of where you want to go and then you need to get the snowball in motion,” says Julia. “Once you get it in motion your job is to make sure it stays the right course and that it does not destroy important areas on the way.”
Pierce has been able to build out a strong value proposition towards different types of riders. They are essentially connecting leading brands with customers all over Europe and beyond and help them pursue their passion by offering a broad range of value-for-money products, know-how, and inspiration. “We are passionate about riding ourselves and play an active role in different rider communities which gives us the knowledge and experience to develop some really cool value-for-money products under private label. As part of our product development strategy, customers are invited to contribute to product development and quality assurance to ensure their high expectations are met,” she says. Pierce started as a digital business based in a garage in 2009 with a couple of genius entrepreneurs. “As we grew, the key has been to keep a strong customer orientation and reinvent yourself over time to improve how you engage and connect with the customer around the products, and they need to live their passion.”
The company is constantly looking into improving the customer experience, and internal operational capabilities and have recently started to use more artificial intelligence and machine learning. As an example, they are now following the (anonymous) customer interactions on their sites in real-time to see how internet connections, different devices, and other aspects affect the customer experience. “We use the knowledge we gain from this to make the sites faster and more intuitive to use. Pierce is now active in 17 markets with a total of 39 shops for our on-road riders in XLMOTO, for our off road riders in 24MX and for our snowmobile riders in Sledstore,” says Julia.IE
Pierce Group is a leading and fast-growing e-commerce company selling gear, spare parts, accessories and streetwear to over 1.1 Million active riders across Europe through the online stores 24MX, XLMOTO and Sledstore via some forty websites adapted to the local markets. Pierce has two major segments targeting two different customer groups, Offroad – sales to motocross and enduro riders, and Onroad – sales to riders on paved roads and tracks. With a large and unique product assortment, including a number of its own brands, an excellent customer experience and attractive prices, Pierce is changing the motorcycle enthusiast market in Europe.