Project Description

Deep dive assessment of a strategic core merchandising system implementation to ensure a successful project outcome.

The Client

A $4.5 billion specialty retailer of apparel for women and “tween” girls, operating multiple brands in the U.S. and Canada.

The Challenge

Several years earlier, the retailer began a core merchandising replacement initiative involving two of the company’s brands, covering 1,227 stores in 46 states. The project experienced multiple stops and starts due to an acquisition and related organizational changes. Further complications included the replacement of a 35 year-old mainframe and integration to over 40 legacy systems.

The retailer once again restarted the core merchandising replacement initiative and was six months away from the forecasted implementation date, but was concerned about the outcome. To improve the chances of a successful project, the retailer determined that they needed a quality assurance and risk audit.

The Parker Avery Solution

The Parker Avery Group worked closely with the client to review the project’s status, risks and issues focusing on the following key areas:

  • Project planning, status tracking, resource management
  • Issue and risk management
  • Process design, solution fit
  • Testing (system, integration, conversion, UAT)
  • Training preparation
  • System security, role clarity, controls
  • Go-live support plans
  • Contingency planning
  • Ongoing monitoring, auditing

The following were key activities:

  • Interviews with key team members
  • Project document and methodology reviews
  • Assessments of project plans, testing and deployment strategies
  • Validation of security and controls
  • Future state roles and responsibilities assessments
  • Recommendation of overall deployment readiness, including priority and timing for specific actions

The Result

The client has identified several opportunities to dramatically mitigate risk and improve the chances of a successful core merchandising system implementation by:

  • Meeting project schedule and cost expectations
  • Ensuring the solution will meet business objectives
  • Delivering a solution that will perform effectively and deliver expected service levels
  • Deriving the maximum value possible from the project
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