Integrated Solutions For Retailers - June 2007 - (Page 1)

Case Study JUNE 2007 Data Integration ◆ Project Management Deploy, Integrate Best-Of-Breed Systems by Laurie Pasquerell Mervyns, a clothing and home goods retailer, interfaced and implemented POS, HR, finance, supply chain, and merchandising systems in less than one year. his project team. “The project, which nal and external interfaces. The MARS was named MARS [Mervyns Advanced project also included converting terRetail Systems], began with the selec- abytes of data, constructing application of software vention interfaces, and dors for our core sysinitiating and testing tems,” said Streitz. more than 1,500 EDI “Those were JDA for trading partners. To merchandising, assist with the converManhattan Associates sion, integration, and for supply chain, interfaces, B2 Lawson for financial, Integration and Inovis for EDI, and a Mervyns successfully implemented Mervyns selected new store and corporate systems in combination of NCR less than one year. Inovis EDI tools and and NSB for POS systhe DataStage EE tems. The next step was to assemble platform for data and application intethe application project managers who gration from IBM. Next, B2 were brought in from Katral Integration developed a detailed impleConsulting. Finally, two integration mentation plan. teams had to be deployed.” The first team was to provide the EDI integra- Adhere To Strict tion and on-boarding of suppliers and Scope, Methodical Plan external partners. The second team “In order to meet our deadline, we had performed all legacy data conversion to expand and contract the functionaliand integrated data and applications to ty as necessary, but always keep the funallow core systems to communicate damentals we needed to run the core with one another. Streitz turned to B2 business,” says Streitz. “Therefore, our Integration for both teams. Having first objective was to have the core retail worked with B2 Integration on prior processes [functionality from JDA] and projects with another retailer, Streitz core reporting processes [GL (general felt the company had the retail, suppli- ledger) and stock ledgers from Lawson] er, and IT knowledge to manage the implemented by January 2006.” vendor collaboration, as well as the sys- Additional functionality such as tem integration experience to cus- accounts payable, additional GL activitomize interfaces within Mervyns’ tight ties, and merchandising purchase orders time limit. were added shortly thereafter. In an effort to integrate swiftly and Gradually, systems and data were transaccurately, B2 Integration recommend- ferred from old to new, including the ed that Mervyns use conventional inte- conversion of a five-year history of gration platforms to develop the inter- financial summary data. Target propri- The challenge of separating one portion of a business from a larger conglomerate or simultaneously replacing all systems in your organization is very difficult in the retail industry. This is, however, exactly what Mervyns, a 189store, family clothing and home goods retailer, did when it was sold off from Target in September 2004. Mervyns had two years to become independent of Target’s systems, without affecting Target’s ongoing IT support. Initially, Mervyns planned to create its IT infrastructure by duplicating Target’s legacy systems; however, in April 2005, Mervyns hired Kurt Streitz as its CIO. Streitz proposed that the retailer build its own best-of-breed IT infrastructure. He felt the systems worked well for Target, but they weren’t ideal for a midmarket, fashionoriented retailer. His proposal included implementing a network backbone, creating a data center, hiring IT staff, acquiring all necessary hardware, and deploying and interfacing new software for every aspect of the business – merchandising, supply chain, warehouse, POS, financial, HR, and EDI (electronic data interchange) systems. By the time Streitz’ proposal was approved, Mervyns had only one year before its IT ‘independence day’ was to arrive. Select Core Systems, Assemble Project Teams Streitz’ first step was to select the hardware and software he wanted to use for the entire retail enterprise and develop

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Integrated Solutions For Retailers - June 2007

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