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

Lighthouse was engaged to assess their software organization, make specific recommendations for improvement, and help implement quality, project management, contracting, requirements management, and testing processes from concept development throughout their entire acquisition and system maintenance lifecycle.

When the retailer outsourced a multi-million dollar custom development project, they looked to Lighthouse for advice. Because of Lighthouse’s in-depth knowledge in project management and function point analysis, we 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 software development vendor, saving them over $10M while ensuring the quality of the work to be performed.

During this multi-year engagement, we implemented quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) practices to ensure better systems that resulted in improved quality and predictability across all software projects. We 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 at major milestones, and implement monthly health checks, all 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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    PMIASQIEEESoftware Engineering InstituteInternational Software Testing Qualifications Board