Wilton Brands: A Case Study
Experience and proven approaches keep a complex IT integration project on track
Date : September 9, 2014

Wilton Brands LLC, is the largest and most diversified company in the craft industry. Each division within Wilton Brands is known worldwide as a market leader in its specialty business.

The support of a trusted partner 
Wilton Brands LLC ("Wilton") acquired Simplicity Creative Group—a global leader in craft, sewing, knitting, hobby, and home decorating brands—at the end of 2012 to extend and complement its product portfolio.

Wilton’s IT leaders sought assistance from West Monroe Partners for three critical elements of the acquisition:

  • IT and operational due diligence
  • IT integration planning
  • Migration of Simplicity’s U.S. IT infrastructure to Wilton’s infrastructure and integration of several key applications into Wilton’s IT environment

West Monroe Partners offered extensive experience in these areas, along with proven methodologies, tools and approaches that could help Wilton execute the integration efficiently. In addition, West Monroe understood Wilton’s IT environment through more than five years of supporting various IT projects and previous acquisitions.

Confronting complexity
Due diligence identified unique operating differences between Simplicity’s pattern and non-pattern businesses. This added complexity to the integration process; thus, Wilton split the integration into separate streams for the two businesses, as well as a first phase for Simplicity’s U.S. operations and a second for its international operations.

Efficient integration, faster benefits
Based on insight gained from due diligence, West Monroe Partners worked with Wilton to create an IT integration plan that supported Wilton’s overall integration management office (IMO) and plan. The firm then helped Wilton execute the plan by running the IT program management office (PMO) for the U.S. integration. This included:

  • Developing methodologies, tools, and templates to be used by IT project managers
  • Conducting weekly IT status meetings and representing the IT work stream at cross-functional IMO meetings— including keeping the IMO apprised of any IT project issues or risks
  • Facilitating decision making
  • Developing a project work plan with high-level tasks and milestones for each in-scope project
  • Assisting in the design of new IT processes
  • Monitoring progress toward milestones and updating plans as needed
  • Providing a project toolkit at the end of the effort to transfer knowledge

With the support of West Monroe Partners, Wilton Brands completed—on schedule—the integration of Simplicity’s key applications to Wilton’s IT environment and migration of Simplicity’s U.S. IT infrastructure to Wilton’s domain.

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