Posted by: Wade Kology on May 8 , 2017 7:00 AM
IT infrastructure is the lifeblood of a retailer's ability to do business. Every commercial operation has its own specific needs and challenges, and when it's time to coordinate an organization-wide upgrade, the size of the company will dictate how their IT integration partner approaches the project. As this partner oversees the installation and maintenance of all hardware and software, they should provide the same amount of planning and consideration for both regional and national retail chains.
A primary factor in projects that utilize a round robin equipment replacement strategy is the amount of inventory the provider will prepare in advance; there should be at minimum a few months in stock and ready for deployment. The IT integration partner's procurement team should forecast the upgrade to align precisely with the customer's needs: the required volume, the project's duration, and the cadence for rolling out upgraded equipment.
Once the upgrade has been launched, the provider will adjust their forecast to take into consideration what efficiencies can be built into the process. For example, once a retailer's core server has been upgraded, the amount of ancillary equipment also requiring an upgrade will be factored in to the projections. If there are multiple technicians on-site, a divide and conquer strategy may be adopted in order to complete all tasks with maximum efficiency.
Regardless of the scale of an upgrade, the IT integration partner's primary goal is to ensure a seamless transition, one that keeps expenses as low as possible. One approach is to organize as much hardware as possible into fewer shipments, in order to reduce transportation costs. Another is to calculate the technician manpower required: if upgrades can be executed at the provider's facility, it will minimize labor expenses and improve quality consistency.
Each retail company has its own distinct IT needs. The best IT integration partner will take all factors into consideration while devising their strategy for a company-wide upgrade to create one that yields impeccable results while minimizing costs to the customer.
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