STORES - October 2010 - (Page 78)

CONSIDER THIS / ARTS UPDATE Revisiting Process Modeling BY RICHARD MADER Peter Burrows, CIO emeritus of adidas Group, opened the recent ARTS Users’ Meeting with a presentation entitled, “Developing Process Documentation to Align Business and IT at adidas.” eling, read it and you will. The Richard Mader is It was not happenstance that this was the kickoff session, whitepaper is available to as documenting processes has returned to prominence as executive director of ARTS. ARTS members, free of the favored method to get IT and the business working tocharge, at gether to create a more efficient and profitable operation. Process modeling is not a new technique — it was used Burrows told the audience that creating process docuextensively in the ’80s and ’90s, when companies develmentation proved to be of great benefit because it: oped software applications in house — and based on per• Provided IT leaders with an understanding of the busisonal experience I can emphatically state, “It works.” ness so they could recommend best uses of technology. In 1981, my IT hero James Martin, along with Clive • Created an open discussion forum for business and IT. Finkelstein, wrote Information Engineering, describing how • Identified best areas for IT investment to improve busito conduct process modeling to refine work methods and ness innovation, operations and profit — not just maintecreate single-version-of-the-truth databases. We used it to nance of existing applications. create a strategic information plan for Federated’s corpo• Provided knowledge of the total enterprise, thereby enrate office: With this success, I moved on to a major East abling creation of the optimum IT infrastructure. Coast retailer and, in less than three years, transformed the The presentation (available at business support from recording merchandise sales in usersmeeting) concluded with the unveiling of ARTS’ highblack books with paper and pencil to a fully automated merlevel draft retail business model, which included the followchandise processing system. Since there was no SOA at ing principal functions that will be detailed to permit the time, we labeled paragraphs in the COBOL programs to process improvement analysis and automation: • Customer relationship management • Merchandising ARTS will provide members with a complete • Shopping roadmap for operating a fully automated and • Store/channel operations successful retail enterprise via a business process • Inventory and distribution • Finance and administration model linked to the data model. ARTS is engaged in a major project to create a Retail Process Model documentcorrespond with the process number within the business ing all of the processes retailers perform to operate a sucmodel. We developed all applications; the only purchased cessful business. The plan is to break the functions down software was the database management system. into detailed business processes that can be encoded as Because the core retail business processes are largely SOA services, linked together as applications and operatthe same across companies, the business model develed in the cloud. The end game is that ARTS will provide oped for the retailer referenced above was quickly updated members with a complete roadmap for operating a fully auto serve as the foundation for the strategic data plan of antomated and successful retail enterprise via a business other retailer. Yes, there are differences, but the business process model linked to the data model and a library of model enables one to quickly change the processes before SOA services supported with whitepapers and educational they are embedded in program code. materials. ARTS is committed to developing a retail business As part of this project ARTS has developed a whitepaper, model: You can develop your own, purchase one at great “Why Business Process Modeling? A Practical Call to Accost or join the ARTS team. History repeatedly proves that tion in Support of Process Modeling,” that can serve as a collaborative efforts produce better results in less time, so I basic primer on what, why and how. This 39-page docuencourage you to consider joining ours. Contact us at ment is a must-read for anyone considering engaging in process modeling — and if you have not considered mod78 STORES / OCTOBER 2010 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES - October 2010

STORES - October 2010
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Customer Experience
Game Changer
Power Players
NRFtech Recap
Concept 2 Watch
Customized Shopping
Consumer Behavior
Software & Analytics
Crowd Control
Payment Fraud
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES - October 2010