TaylorMade Customer Success Story
Premier golf brand TaylorMade optimizes its worldwide omnichannel business with Cleo Integration Cloud
TaylorMade Golf Co. is an American manufacturer of golf clubs, golf balls, bags, and accessories based in Carlsbad, California, and its mission is simple: “Create the best-performing golf products in the world.” TaylorMade has been doing just that since its inception in 1979, when it literally changed the game with the innovation of the Pittsburgh Persimmon metal driver. Widely believed to make the best drivers in golf and becoming in 2006 only the second golf company to reach $1 billion in revenue, TaylorMade is one of the marquee brands in the sport. The company continues to grow its equipment business and make substantial gains in golf ball market share. Today, TaylorMade counts many of the world’s top golfers, including Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day, as faithful believers.
However, TaylorMade’s momentum was threatened in 2017 when it was notified by parent company Adidas that it was being positioned for sale and needed to separate all business and IT systems between the two. The separation meant Adidas was cutting off its EDI services, which is a critical revenue driver for TaylorMade.
TaylorMade’s accelerated growth over the last 15 years could be attributed to several forces, including the rising popularity of golf and the company’s reputation for providing premium equipment, but that growth was made possible by its expanding roster of retail B2B partnerships, which account for two-thirds of its order-to-cash revenue every year. This meant that, more than ever, TaylorMade needed an integration solution that could keep up with its business.
“TaylorMade has some of the world’s most loyal customers, who are as engaged and as passionate about the sport as they are about TaylorMade’s equipment,” said Adam Beier, senior architect for TaylorMade. “We rely on our B2B partners to deliver TaylorMade’s great products to the end user in new ways.”
As a member of the Adidas family of brands since 1998, TaylorMade had been paying Adidas for outsourced EDI services to communicate with those partners on a system hosted and managed by Adidas. TaylorMade was seeking a similar hosted and managed model to support a transition that streamlined onboarding and expedited knowledge transfer time.
“We knew the day would come when we wouldn’t have the IT support from Adidas to run this global business, and we needed to work quickly to implement a solution that would keep our operations seamlessly moving,” said Jen Niethammer, senior EDI and compliance coordinator for TaylorMade. "But we also viewed the divestiture as an opportunity to improve our technology stack and our business.
“There were so many subsidiaries of Adidas using the same tools that making changes was slow, and we couldn’t be as agile and as diverse as we’d like. We wanted an integration platform that could help us achieve that nimbleness and flexibility, so not just any solution would do.”
Niethammer explained that many of TaylorMade’s brick-and-mortar retail partners also have online storefronts, and these evolving online platforms pushed TaylorMade to improve its data processing agility and meet increasingly stringent SLAs. To achieve these demanding benchmarks, TaylorMade required:
- Order automation: When it comes to golf clubs, there are countless variations in things like grip, shaft type and length, loft, and bounce angle, which means customized orders spanning thousands of combinations must be supported across ERP and EDI systems.
- Communication diversity: TaylorMade requires the ability to communicate in more diverse ways with its partners, including the straightforward “vanilla” integrations but also the more complex “sprinkles,” as Niethammer calls them.
- ERP support and consolidation: TaylorMade centralized and consolidated its North American distribution down to one distribution center, and at the same time brought its global operations, including facilities across North and Central America, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Asia, and others onto a new Oracle ERP.
- Speed and agility: An agile integration solution that helps TaylorMade meet emerging customer data requirements and deliver into new markets more quickly is essential to TaylorMade’s business.
By the time Adidas completed its divestiture of TaylorMade in October 2017 (KPS Capital Partners purchased the company), the worldwide leader in golf equipment had weighed solutions and proposals from 10 integration vendors. But it found only one that could support its business requirements now and into the future.
TaylorMade chose Cleo Integration Cloud and leverages a hosted and managed service for the transmission and transformation of all its EDI data, enabling the seamless migration of TaylorMade’s business and operational ecosystem to a single platform. The solution supports more than 60 trading partners across three global organizations within TaylorMade, more than 200 maps, and over 100,000 transactions per month.
“We use Cleo Integration Cloud to manage all of our EDI, which is the lifeblood of our supply chain operations,” Niethammer said. “TaylorMade’s relationship with Cleo moves our B2B data transformation 100 percent into the cloud and enables the hundreds of thousands of monthly communications that drive our business.”
With Cleo Integration Cloud, TaylorMade:
- Optimized productivity and reliability through order automation
- Can say “yes” to any partner integration requirement
- Gained ERP support and data cohesion across global operations
- Has the speed and agility to deliver new products to market faster
But it’s much more than just moving files and fulfilling equipment and golf ball orders, Niethammer said. Cleo Integration Cloud helps to ensure that TaylorMade can act with the same B2B confidence as the golfers who swing TaylorMade golf clubs.
“One of our company’s most important initiatives is growing golfers into lifelong, loyal TaylorMade fans,” she said. “It starts with some of the world’s most innovative product engineering, but it’s extended with great technology like Cleo’s, which improves our ability to seamlessly interact with our partners and better serve our customers.
“Cleo really understands what TaylorMade is trying to do as a company and our omnichannel approach. That understanding is reflected in its cloud integration solution and the expertise behind it, and it enables us to continue putting TaylorMade equipment in golf bags around the world.”
“Cleo’s unparalleled data movement and data transformation capabilities in the cloud ensure TaylorMade can act with more speed, flexibly interact with our online partner platforms, and better compete in the evolving retail landscape.”
– Jen Niethammer, senior EDI and compliance coordinator for TaylorMade
B2B and EDI cloud integration