The Last Days of Target


From Canadian Business, the details of how Target failed in Canada. A good case study in global IT (in particular, the bloated SAP software suite) management?

The company had also been learning more about using SAP correctly. Former employees describe decoding SAP as like peeling an onion—it had multiple layers and made you want to cry. One initiative in particular greatly improved Target’s data quality. A technology team was finally able to install an automatic verification feature to catch bad data before it could enter SAP and wreak havoc. If an employee entered a UPC that was short one digit, for example, the system wouldn’t allow that purchase order to proceed until the code was correct. The technology Target used in the U.S. has these checks and balances, as do other retailers who use SAP. Target Canada finally implemented a verification tool in 2014, according to a former employee who was involved, owing to time constraints. “This happened very late in the game.”

Emphasis mine.

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