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Warehouse Group does more with data

Sathya Mithra Ashok | April 2, 2014
The Warehouse Group needs no introduction. As one of NZ's largest retailers, Warehouse Group deals with a wide range of products from clothing, entertainment, technology and music to sporting, gardening, grocery and many others, across multiple brands, since 1982.

Plans for the future

Though the Group started off with just 50 Qlikview licences, it has grown to 100 user licences and five super-user licences, in an enterprise version mode. This is run off production servers with 196GB RAM, which gives people the services that they require in the fastest time possible.

"I know I will have to purchase some more licences in the near future.

"We have just purchased PDF publisher. This helps out send out docs in a more effective manner. We are also putting in full disaster recovery on Qlikview. And then I am looking to move Qlikview into three more of our companies within the next four months, which is going to be a significant investment, especially in terms of time," states Rowland.

The Group is also looking at demos of KliqPlan and another product called QVSource that allows Qlikview to easily lock into social media.

Meanwhile, the move towards consolidation continues across the companies.

"It is going to take a period of time. We have gone from two companies running disparate systems to 15 in less than two years. We are starting to work now in understanding the best path forward, not just for BI but for everything, to make sure we have the best platform possible for all the brands.

"We also want to ensure that the customer still understands the real point of difference between the brands as they see them. So they know they can go to Torpedo7 for something, The Warehouse for something else and Noel Leeming for something else — even not having to understand that they are all owned by the same group. That's a goal for us — to maintain that point of difference at the front but then consolidate where we can at the back," says Rowland.

He warns that consolidation, especially across big back-end software like ERP and SCM, might not take place in the short or, even possibly not, in the medium terms.

"You are looking at some substantial companies. I have lived through full ERP implementation before and they are never pleasant. There are so many things going on. It will come. What it looks like and when it comes I am not sure about, but certainly not in the next couple of years," says Rowland.

He states that while he would like to have more staff on his team, the act of prioritising with the business enables him to meet all business demands with the current team numbers. Meanwhile, the IS team continues to invest heavily in training existing staff to ensure that they are able to retain them at the skill levels they require them at.


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