Business Requirements at Canadian Tire Essay
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The Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) was initiated in 1922 when two brothers opened an auto parts store and garage in Toronto, Canada. From 1922 to 2003, their organization grew into a much larger network of businesses, including retail, financial services, and petroleum operations (Haggerty, 2003). There was 45,000 employees working at the various CVC businesses across Canada, and more than 1,000 stores and gas bars. As stated in the reading, CTC businesses were actually comprised into five groups including the following: Canadian Tire Retail, Canadian Tire Financial Services, Candida Tire Petroleum, PartSource, and Mark’s Work Wearhouse.
Initially, this group of businesses used numerous different hardware, software, operating systems, network services, development tools, and applications. As explained in the reading, the systems at Canadian Tire Retail included POS (point-of sales) systems which were networked to the Canadian Tire Retail data center. The systems at Mark’s Work Wearhouse, on the other hand, operated differently and remained separate from the other CTC corporations. While Canadian Tire Retail ran IBM-AS/400 systems in stores, CTFS utilized IBM RS6000 with Intel-Based workstations.
PartSource and Canadian Tire Petroleum’s daily transactions were relayed directly into the corporate network from their point-of-sale systems. The Canadian Tire Corporation’s IT department operated and supported over a hundred different mainframe, server, desktop development and integration tools, ten different hardware platforms, 14 operating systems, seven database management systems, and over 450 different production applications. Much of the systems were described as “niche” and “sunset” technologies indicating outdated and inefficient technology.
For this reason, and others, IT spending at CTC was considerably higher than the industry standard, and this would only continue to grow. It was necessary for Canadian Tire Corporation to develop an integrated data warehouse system. There were many key individuals whose roles were essential in the shift to developing a new MODULE 2: COURSE PROJECT BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS 3 strategy for Canadian Tire Corporation. Perhaps the most crucial role was that of Andy Wnek, Chief Information Officer/Chief Financial Officer.
Wnek led the strategic plan in 2002 (and going forward) to develop the first IT strategy document in many years. Michael Eubanks was hired as Director of Marketing IT which came with the responsibility of creatively partnering more with Canadian Tire Retail. Bridget Martens was assigned as Business Intelligence Manager in early 2003. She was given the responsibility of coordinating the business intelligence program as it began. These individuals played key roles in the development of the business intelligence initiative at Canadian Tire Corporation.
The implementation of a data warehouse involved laying out a vision to be “an agile IT team, aligned to business priorities, operating a simpler technical environment with the appropriate standardized processes” (Haggerty, 2003). In order to achieve this vision, many requirements were necessary to move forward. First of all, Canadian Tire Retail’s image had historically reflected that of a wholesaler, and the IT group had the challenge of changing this image to that of a retailer, rather than a wholesaler.
In order to do this, the team realized that more data was necessary in order to analyze data as a retailer. They were required to look at data on a more analytical basis, analyzing the product, store, and margin trends (Haggerty, 2003). In order to do this, the IT group built the IW in which data was extracted, transformed, and loaded from a variety of sources. This was the essence of building the data warehouse: to consolidate the date into one main system where the information could be analyzed to help form critical business decisions.
Additionally, three imperative requirements were identified during the IT strategy 2003. These included the requirements of: becoming better aligned to the business to support strategic and operational priorities and adaptability to changing business priorities, controlling costs through simplifying the technical architecture, improving productivity, and controlling expenses, and implementing governance of IT resources including standardization, risk management, and MODULE 2: COURSE PROJECT BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS 4 developing/implementing sustainable processes.
The requirements laid out in this vision actually prompted the development of four programs from the periods of 2003 to 2005. The first program involved implementing a CIO governance program. The second program, provided “organizational and people capabilities” (Haggerty, 2003) and specified key services that the IT group would need to be able to support to the organization. The third involved process improvements which helped to organize an annual IT strategy planning process.
The fourth program involved technological direction which “laid the foundation for re-architecting the organization” (Haggerty, 2003). The areas of business intelligence and data management, application deployment, integration and messaging, standardization and simplification, and security deployment were five areas that required immediate attention. For this reason, these areas also serve as requirements for the data warehouse and business intelligence initiatives to take place.
Canadian Tire Corporation is an example of a company in distress whose current architecture and infrastructures did not suffice for longevity and success. The case study further details the journey of CTC, along with its web of networked businesses, as it attempted to change business strategy in an effort to create a more enhanced system of data warehousing and business intelligence. MODULE 2: COURSE PROJECT BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS 5 References Haggerty, N. & Meister, D. (2003). Business Intelligence Strategy at Canadian Tire [Case Study]. Ivey Management Services.