Crocs might be known for flashy collabs with the likes of KFC, Post Malone and most recently, Peeps, but behind the scenes, the clog corporation has been undertaking the important, if unsexy, work of streamlining how important data and files flow internally and externally.
The foam footwear company has been working with Thru, a provider of cloud-native managed file transfer solutions, to improve its ability to set up file transfer endpoints and free up time and resources better spent on elevating product design and customer experience. At stake: ensuring multiple siloed systems can access and process important files.
Crocs employees previously spent significant amounts of time laboring on a single file transfer connection; one transfer to its freight-forwarding partner consumed between up to four hours from coding and configuring to testing and deploying, for example.
“The challenge Crocs faced is a common one for enterprises: how to accomplish digital transformation and shed cost-prohibitive on-premises, hard-coded legacy file transfer systems,” Lee Harrison, Thru CEO, said in a statement. “Thru accelerates time to deployment for new file transfer processes and provides a significant competitive edge by fast-tracking modernization projects and reducing time spent on complicated B2B integrations.”
Thru says its system centralizes file transfers onto a single file exchange platform, increasing transfer performance, enabling granular audit visibility and automating partner onboarding. Thru described Crocs was an ideal candidate to showcase its platform’s usefulness in modernizing a company’s B2B digital ecosystem, through its cloud subscription model that offers scalability, self-service onboarding and, it says, immediate ROI.
Already, Crocs is now executing 20,000 file transfer per month, up from zero.
“Crocs has always been on the leading edge of supply chain innovation,” Crocs vice president of global logistics and integration technology Mark Meister said. “We needed to modernize the flow of files across our 24 B2B integrations including multiple systems such as ERP, retail merchandising, human resources and supply to accelerate processing of business-critical information such as sales data, payroll and supply chain.”
In less than a month, Crocs saw improved agility, scale and efficiency in integrated business activities, Meister said. For example, Thru’s platform lessened the time it took to build internal file transfer connections from four hours to just 30 minutes. Data taken from Crocs’ retail point of sale systems can now be pulled directly into analytics programs, all with a speed that is about eight times faster than its previous solutions, according to Thru.
Thru’s cloud-based infrastructure also has the effect of lowering overhead costs associated with upkeeping an internal server system. When Crocs first set out to modernize its IT infrastructure, technicians were tasked with transferring proprietary data from on-premise servers to the cloud.
Don McIntosh, director IT, development and enterprise systems architecture for Crocs, described Thru as “an intuitive solution.”
“The beauty of Thru is that the complexity is masked behind the simplicity of the user interface … the inherent simplicity, rapid delivery and timing are definitely big drivers of why we chose Thru,” he added.
Crocs initially used Oracle Fusion, an on-premise middleware solution, but quickly found a cloud-based option to be cheaper and more efficient in the long-term.
“We have an enterprise plan where we are moving towards a hybrid cloud strategy,” Meister said. “We knew we didn’t want the overhead of running this solution on-premises, to alleviate things like patching and upgrading infrastructure.”
Company-wide, more divisions within Crocs are hoping to similarly save time and streamline processes.
“As groups in Crocs hear of our success of building simple file automation solutions with Thru, they are coming to us to see if we can do the same for them,” Meister said. “We wanted to provide an enterprise-wide foundation for file transfer activities. As we go through and uncover needs in other groups, we have a more common approach to how we transfer files around the enterprise.”