Wehkamp Creates Shopping Magic Using PagerDuty

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Industry: Retail

Customer Since: October 2014

Everyone has had one of those magic shopping moments. You set out with a vague idea of what you need, but then you find that perfect, unpredictable, trend-setting thing. Wehkamp, the largest e-commerce retailer in the Netherlands, has made it a mission to surprise its customers this way. The company is constantly innovating to deliver customized yet surprising results on the cutting edge of fashion, home and garden, electronics, gaming, sports, and beauty.

With 128 million visits per year, 1.7 million regular customers, and more than 7 million shipments annually, it takes the coordination and teamwork of over 200 IT staff to deliver a seamless online shopping experience 24/7/365. So when Wehkamp began to expand globally in October 2014, they came to PagerDuty looking for a critical IT ops solution that would give them the speed, reliability, and flexibility to build on their promise to innovate and surprise, even as their customer base expanded rapidly.

In E-Commerce, Downtime Is Money

Before partnering with PagerDuty, incident resolution times were unacceptably high for Wehkamp, especially for the fast-paced, high-volume world of e-commerce. The company averages a daily turnover of €2–2.5 million, and on action days it is even more. Just one hour of downtime during primetime already means a loss of turnover. Willem van den Broek, IT manager for financial systems, says he knew it was time to upgrade.

“We needed a proactive system that would put solutions in place before an issue could arise. PagerDuty delivered.”

Wehkamp had previously relied on a cumbersome SMS alert system that was inflexible and significantly hindered their performance. All incidents were being automatically sent to a single on-call engineer, essentially rendering them a dispatcher and distracting from other value-driving work. Not only that, but often it would be unclear who to give the issue to, meaning even more time was lost clarifying workflow.

PagerDuty Drives Ownership and Action

With PagerDuty, Wehkamp has seen drastically reduced downtime yield significant savings. PagerDuty’s critical operations performance software manages the on-call workflow for Wehkamp and gets the problems to the right people immediately. That’s how PagerDuty drives responsibility and ownership while slashing incident-resolution times. When Wehkamp’s engineers hear from PagerDuty, they know the issue is theirs to resolve directly.

“Our engineers trust PagerDuty to bring them the issues they have the expertise to address, and that builds confidence, ownership, and team unity. PagerDuty’s reliability is like nothing else we’ve seen.”

Wehkamp’s team is also enjoying greater flexibility thanks to PagerDuty’s mobile app. Now on-call engineers can step out of the office for a bite to eat or hit the gym without worrying about missing critical incidents, causing downtime. Improving quality of life is a priority that PagerDuty and Wehkamp share.

“Employee well-being is a pillar of our corporate social responsibility. We are free to just live our lives now because we can trust PagerDuty to keep us up to speed wherever we go.”

With the speed, reliability, and flexibility that PagerDuty has delivered, Wehkamp has eliminated costly downtime, improved operations performance, and found the freedom to focus on delivering those perfect shopping surprises to their customers.