In January 2014, Morrisons, one of the UK’s top-4 supermarkets, launched its online groceries business. The move into online retail was a natural one, with many other leading supermarkets already operating multi-channel retail models. Such a model presents very different challenges to any retailer, varying from operational all the way to understanding customer behaviour.
For this reason, Morrisons were looking to leverage their data and modern business intelligence (BI) technologies to give their business teams the ability to work as effectively and efficiently as possible. Key to the success of any system was timeliness and accuracy of information, as well as ensuring that team members were gaining the right level of insight to enable them to carry out their roles to the highest possible standard.
What Peak delivered
Working closely with the business leaders at Morrisons, Peak designed and managed the delivery of several BI applications (apps). These apps were focussed in 4 distinct areas:
- Marketing and customer insight
- Commercial and trading
- Company performance
- Sales and order build-up
Using the new BI apps, the Morrisons team were able to gain easy insight into the each of the focus areas. They were able to answer questions quickly and take speedy insight-driven action on a day-to-day basis.
How Peak achieved this
The most important factor in ensuring the successful implementation of a new BI system is understanding the business challenge. Peak worked closely with senior business stakeholders at Morrisons to gain a clear understanding of their business strategy and challenge. This allowed us to design a BI platform that would enable the business teams to maximise their performance – essentially using technology as a business enabler.
During the design phase we applied different stakeholder models to help guide the development of a roadmap and inform the scope of each application we would build. This approach enabled us to rapidly turn a business challenge into a technology roadmap that Morrisons were able to buy into and sign-off.
From there, each application was prototyped by creating mock-ups and wireframes. These app designs were then used to construct data definitions and data models, which were then used as blueprints for the development teams. The Peak team then oversaw the build and delivery of each app to the Morrisons' business.
While understanding the business challenge was essential to the design of the system, the project was not without its technical challenges too. Within the Morrisons estate there were a large number of different data sources that each needed to supply the new BI apps. These varied from a CRM system, Oracle data warehouse, SQL server databases and other peripheral business systems. Presenting data in a timely manner was key and, therefore, constructing a robust data set for each BI app was a critical factor in ensuring their success.
“Peak quickly understood our business and what we were looking to achieve. They engaged us at a business level and were able to translate this into a technical solution which helped us deliver our operational goals. The Peak team have designed a BI system that has enabled a truly different operating model for our business. We are now able to take insight and data-driven decisions in a timely and speedy way.
“Our data set is large and complex, yet Peak were able to make sense of this and enable us to gain insight and clarity into business performance using their apps. We have a much stronger view of our customer and operational performance since the implementation of our new system. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the services of Peak for any online retailer or business looking to achieve the same as Morrisons.”
Kirsty Needham, Customer Insight Director @ Morrisons