What You Should Do

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2002-12-01 Print this article Print

Garry Kelly must help return the $41 billion department-store retailer to health, while simultaneously digesting a $1.6 billion direct-sales operation.

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What You Should Do if You're Integrating Retail Systems
  • Establish an architecture.

  • Make sure you come up with a good way to link up applications with the data from your reporting systems, without having to blend or migrate entire systems. Use middleware; don't rip and replace
  • Integrate data.

  • Integrate information from sales, inventory, customers and stores so you have a big picture that's easy to see. That way you'll be able to track the flow of goods and not duplicate any efforts
  • Focus on customers.

  • Look at all your applications, but start with those that affect customers. Example: If I buy at Lands' End, can I use my Sears credit card?
  • Look at vendor applications.

  • Then work on how to deal with suppliers. Example: Decide how to handle private-label programs and different prices for the same goods, when working with one set of factories.
  • Look at internal applications.

  • Finally, look at the systems that run your business. These are the systems in between you and the customer and you and the supplier that must efficiently track inventory, receipts and results.


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