Case Study: eCommerce platform and systems integrator evaluation for global grocer

eCommerce Platform Evaluation

Our client is a leading discount supermarket chain with over 800 stores in the UK & Ireland with an estimated turnover of more than €50bn making it one of the world’s largest privately owned companies. This client decided to investigate launching an entirely new eCommerce proposition to the UK market and engaged eComp to support them with developing the business requirements, technology evaluation criteria, negotiation framework and RFP process through to selection. The analysis phase was complex as we had to make sure the client was able to launch a market competitive proposition but also potentially cater for future requirements, which were more complex in nature. This meant we had to assess a much wider capability from technology vendors and system integrators (SI’s) than what was anticipated for phase 1 launch.  The criteria for evaluation was also exceptionally important in that we catered for almost as many non functional requirements as functional requirements in our analysis and the overarching principles of evaluation which included portability, flexibility, time to market, future proofing, industry standards and out of the box capability led us to shortlisting a small number of vendors we knew would be a strong match.

Evaluation Process and Selection Strategy

The end-to-end process took around four months and included the evaluation of both eCommerce technology vendors and their system integration partners. We ran the process evaluating both at the same time to ensure business requirements responses were aligned between the two. This allowed us to see variations in SI responses with the same vendor, which gave us a confidence rating on the requirements response. We also tracked configuration vs customisation estimates on each requirement against vendors and their SI, which allowed us to clearly see, which technologies required more or less customisation and again where there was variation between SI’s. The final shortlist resulted in two SI’s head to head with the same vendor however at this stage we had already negotiated software costs so the leverage lost in eliminating other vendors did not harm the client.

Software Licensing & Negotiation

We ran a highly competitive process, which ensured the client procured the best-fit software and services and best value was achieved for our client. Working in collaboration we negotiated a near 50% discount on the software license price between the RFP response and the final price negotiation. We also helped lift a number of license restrictions which allowed the client to consume as much of the software as required far beyond the business growth projections. The license effectively became an enterprise agreement giving the client huge flexibility in deployment options, modules and growth.

Result

eComp continued to be involved in a project advisory capacity helping the client to oversee the discovery phase and development project. The client launched their new UK eCommerce proposition in Q1 2016 incrementally adding more product categories over time. This strategy ensured many issues could be ironed out reducing the risk to the new eCommerce operation. The client continues to invest heavily in digital transformation and eComp are already advising on a range of other initiatives.