Fanatics: Taking Growth in Stride

Steve Weiskircher, CIO, Fanatics Inc.

Steve leverages technology to achieve tactical and strategic business goals. He partners with business units to design and develop robust, scalable and secure solutions. Steve has a strong focus on e-commerce, contact center, and warehouse operations and has experience in business development, retail, merchandising, and direct marketing.
Steve Weiskircher, CIO, Fanatics Inc.
Steve Weiskircher, CIO, Fanatics Inc.

As CIO of Fanatics, you’ve had your hands full with not only internal growth, but acquisitions as well.
I’ve been with Fanatics for just over four years. A few years ago, the company had two retail stores and a 130,000-squarefoot operations facility. Today we have a 550,000-square-foot fulfillment and support staff facility, an internal call center in Florida, a customization and shipping facility in Kentucky, and offices in Pennsylvania. We’ve grown quickly in a very short period of time.

What sparked such growth?
Simply put, by keeping a fanatical focus on exceeding our customers’ expectations. Last year, we were purchased by and subsequently divested from GSI Commerce along with their licensed sports division. Recently, we announced our intent to purchase Dreams Inc., a multi-channel licensed sports merchandising company.

How has this trajectory challenged the overall organization?
Our policy in the technology team is “do no evil.” We don’t want to disrupt business operations while we are adding complexity at such a rapid rate. The integration and incorporation of new businesses is secondary to satisfying our existing customer base. The same is true for the businesses we merge with and acquire. We bring these companies together because we’ve seen something of value: brand, customer base, loyalty. We don’t want to sacrifice these qualities.

How has Microsoft Dynamics AX allowed your business to remain agile with so much change?
Our environment, which also supports a few hundred partners, is Microsoft-centric from the .Net-based e-commerce platform to our core procurement and financial software: Microsoft Dynamics AX. Leveraging Microsoft’s integrated solutions enables us to connect people, processes, and systems across all aspects of our company. The flexibility within Microsoft Dynamics AX is where we see the most benefit. We can tailor it to meet our business process needs. It features enterprise-level capabilities such as multicompany, multi-warehouse, multi-currency and localized support.

How will your move to the latest version, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, impact business?
More capabilities are now available out-of-the box. This has reduced the need for custom code in certain business functions. Also, because it leverages technologies like SQL Server Reporting Services, we can better utilize our IT talent in the organization. I’m confident the foundation we are laying with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 will provide the capabilities required to meet our future needs.

What advice do you have for others thinking about using Microsoft Dynamics?
Having a flexible product like Microsoft Dynamics and a great technology partner are important. That’s why we chose Microsoft and Junction Solutions. We have a corporate culture as “self maintainers.” The Microsoft Dynamics AX platform allows us to do this while benefitting from the out of the box enterprise features. We will continue to support the application internally, however the strong partner community provides us with the comfort that we do not have to do it all alone.
Customer Size: NA
Industry: Retail and Consumer Goods; Specialty Retail; General Merchandise
Country or Region: United States
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
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