August 8, 2013, 12:26 PM

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service upgrades its e-commerce platform to improve efficiency

The process includes adding an order management system from SpeedFC.

Lead Photo

Multichannel retailer Army & Air Force Exchange Service is upgrading its order management system to better reach armed services personnel and their families wherever they reside. The Exchange sells through the Internet, via mobile commerce and in stores known as post exchanges at 160 military bases around the world.

By its own admission, the retailer’s e-commerce site,, had not been providing enough help to shoppers looking for items—its catalog of 200,000 SKUs includes products in many categories including apparel, gifts, electronics, beauty, baby, home and appliances—nor was it managing their orders efficiently. And it recognized that the problems will only compound as it adds more products, most of which ship for free and without tax, before the holidays. Last year, the Exchange handled more than 700,000 orders and generated more than $220 million in revenue, the company says. It is No. 106 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide.

To meet its global selling needs, the Exchange says it will upgrade to SpeedFC’s Speed Order technology during a revamp of its e-commerce site this year.  Speed Order also includes guided navigation, faceted site search and web analytics, says Linda Mihalick, vice president of e-commerce at the Exchange.  SpeedFC will provide that extra functionality for the retailer by incorporating technology from Oracle Corp.’s ATG e-commerce platform; It offers its own versions of those features, but allows e-retailers looking for or already using Oracle’s higher-end products to leverage them with its platform. Additionally, SpeedFC says Speed Order includes a call center application and a content management system to update product details and promotions. SpeedFC is a unit of e-commerce services provider Navarre Corp.

“One of our strategic priorities is improving online offerings and the user experience,” says Tom Shull, the Exchange’s director and CEO. “Whether in-store or online, it is extremely important that we make the same Exchange benefit available to all soldiers, airmen, their families and retirees, regardless of where they are stationed or by what means they prefer to shop.”

The new e-commerce site is scheduled to launch in late spring 2014, Mihalick says. She says the retailer worked with e-commerce consultancy FitForCommerce on evaluating technology options before selecting SpeedFC as its provider.

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