Leading Department Store Chain

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The Retailer

A highly successful, well-known department store chain with an online presence selling fashion, homeware and electrical items.

The Exam Question

To help the retailer understand whether its supply chain was fit for purpose given its stated multi-channel strategy and objectives.

What We Did

TPC initially looked into the supply chain operations and critiqued the ability to execute on the company’s multi-channel objectives. It was clear that the supply chain as it was, and the technology infrastructure that was in place, were not fit for purpose. This led to the next piece of analysis which involved looking at the options going forward. Could the retailer layer onto what they already had? Would they need to rip out and replace their current systems? After several months of working with the business it was decided that the retailer needed to invest in more modern systems that could support their vision going forward.

TPC helped the client construct a detailed business case and mobilise a project to select an ERP vendor along with third parties to help implement it. This was a business transformation project not an IT project and so it was important that the business was heavily involved. The whole programme represented a large investment for the retailer of over £200m.

TPC played a critical role in setting up the vendor contracts and in doing so saved the retailer several million pounds. Subsequently TPC has played various roles on the project to ensure its successful delivery.

How Does It Apply to Other Companies?

Many retailers are embarking on major transformation programmes and so the skills, experience and expertise being delivered here are very relevant to scenarios with other retailers. It is important with any ERP programme to have a clear business case that not only justifies the project but that acts as a measuring yardstick throughout its lifecycle.

Why Thought Provoking Consulting?

TPC doesn’t see ERP programmes as a license to land an army on a client’s site and sit it there for years. We are all about helping the client make this successful. Our goal is to make our role redundant by transferring skills and expertise to the client. ERP has become a necessity for some retailers who want radically different capabilities in a multi-channel world. These programmes work best when embraced by the business and not when they are ‘done to’ the business. A collaborative approach remains TPC’s philosophy which we believe leads to a much greater chance of the legacy of the change being successful.