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Vendor Quality Management in Retail: Convenience Doesn’t Need a Big Price Tag

With Lighthouse, this convenience retailer saved $10M+ while ensuring the quality of the work to be performed.

This retailer was looking for ways to improve software quality, reduce acquisition costs, and lower ongoing maintenance costs.  Their software system included a large Automated Teller machine (ATM) network of 5,000 machines, a new Point of Sale (POS) system, a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and numerous large custom applications.

Lighthouse was engaged to help implement quality, project management, contracting, requirements management, and testing processes from concept development throughout their entire acquisition and system maintenance lifecycle.

ATM Picture 20120725 v001 ktgWhen the retailer outsource a multi-million dollar custom project, they looked to Lighthouse for advice.  Because of Lighthouse’s in-depth knowledge in project management and function point analysis, they were able to accurately estimate the real cost of a contract and establish clear expectations of the work to be performed.  As a result, Lighthouse helped the retailer negotiate the contract with the development vendor, saving them over $10M while ensuring the quality of the work to be preformed.

During this multi-year engagement, Lighthouse implemented quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) practices to ensure better systems that resulted in improved quality and predictability across all software projects.  To do this, Lighthouse mentored and taught them how to develop a “good” set of requirements (“good” meaning it meets all or part of the business need, is unambiguous, verifiable, etc.), establish quality metrics, perform gate checks between phases, and implement monthly health checks.  With Lighthouse by their side, the retailer was able to make the necessary course corrections to keep their project on track.

 “To get what you expect, you must inspect.”
– Information Systems Manger on Software Quality Assurance while practicing what he learned after consulting and training from Lighthouse

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