KRISP Global Sourcing Application for Kingfisher

A solution based on Oracle 8.0, Business Objects, Hyperion Essbase, & Wired for OLAP that allows buyers within the Kingfisher Group to identify buying synergies.

Background

Kingfisher is one of Europe's largest retailers, employing over 125,000 people with over 2,800 stores in 15 countries. Kingfisher operates principally through its two pan-European businesses in DIY and Electricals and its UK High Street general merchandise sector.  It encompasses some highly recognised retail brands including Woolworths, Castorama, B&Q, Darty, Comet and Superdrug.

Issues

The Kingfisher Repository of Information on Suppliers and Products (KRISP) project was developed to support the sector and group-buying organisation by identifying potential buying synergies across the group through a data warehouse of vendor and product data.

Solution

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) initially implemented the KRISP application integrating four component layers.

Operating companies submit weekly and monthly sales and purchase data.  Oracle SQL Loader is then used to extract the data into Oracle Enterprise 8.0.  A transform process using a combination of PL/SQL and dynamic SQL then validates and applies complex business rules to this data.

Ad-hoc reporting and analysis is delivered to buyers across Europe and Asia through Business Objects and Wired for OLAP running on a CITRIX server.  The Business Objects Universe is built directly from the Oracle tables, and provides transaction level reporting.  Wired for OLAP enables fast aggregated analysis using Hyperion Essbase 5.0.2 OLAP Server cubes built nightly from the Oracle database.

Allocation of new products and hierarchy maintenance are controlled through a bespoke Microsoft Access database tool written by Thorogood.

Thorogood input

Thorogood became the development partner for the KRISP application following a handover from the PWC development team.  Our objectives were four fold:

  1. move KRISP to a production environment
  2. support the KRISP application fixing any errors that emerged in the application
  3. resolve database problems associated with the day-to-day running of the database, housekeeping activities and performance tuning; and
  4. analyse future business requirements and translate these into new releases for KRISP

This has been achieved by placing an experienced team in Kingfisher, capable of developing and supporting the complex integration of technologies and processes.  Once completed and accepted, KRISP was moved to the support phase with our dedicated support centre.

Benefit to the client

A single development partner providing guaranteed support and the capability to develop a complex application across four different technologies and vendors. A pool of consultants has grown containing knowledge of the client’s culture and systems.  These people can be called upon should spikes of demand arise.

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