The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) provides quality goods and services at a savings to active duty service people, reservists, retirees and their families. NEXCOM, a $3 billion retailer, is the headquarters for NEX (big-box-like retailer) stores on U.S. Naval Bases around the world, supporting each store with products and core retail infrastructure.
In the summer of 2009, NEXCOM began exploring its options for bringing the 14 Oracle retail modules it had implemented over a six- to seven-year time period up-to-date with Oracle’s most current version. “As we began the initial Oracle implementation years ago,” explained Cindy Church, VP of Applications for NEXCOM, “our plan was to bring everything up to a consistent and current version once we had all the modules up and running.”
According to Church, the challenge with a plan such as this is determining how to approach the upgrade piece by piece, given the breadth and depth of their Oracle retail system. “We have many, many different components to our system,” Church explained, “so we have to determine an approach that allows us to upgrade them one at a time without upsetting the whole thing.”
Working closely with Oracle, Church and her team put out a unique RFP to top Oracle retail systems integrators. “We weren’t looking for a proposal for the actual upgrade,” said Church. “We needed someone to help us define how we get there, what’s the best approach, the value, the timeline, etc. In a way, this was a proposal to create a proposal.”
For NEXCOM, finding a partner with deep retail expertise was critical. “We often find vendors that have great military background,” Church said, “but we’re a bit of a different animal. We’re a retail business, so our needs are quite different from the typical military IT project.”
NEXCOM selected Logic to create this strategic assessment and plan. “We went with Logic, because of their extensive retail and Oracle experience,” explained Church. “They’ve done upgrades like this before – so they bring valuable expertise and perspective to the table.”
The Logic and NEXCOM team worked through an 18-week process to provide a holistic assessment of the current situation and create a strategic upgrade plan for the entire NEXCOM system. To build a realistic plan, Logic and he NEXCOM team had to work very intimately through the entire process.
“We have a very good partnership,” said Church. “They do what they say they’re going to do. That’s important. And they were very open, honest and upfront about situations they encountered. They brought great retail background, and they’re so well-versed on the platform – from merchandising to supply chain. They did an excellent job of guiding us, getting to the right questions and then finding the answer.”
With the assessment and recommendation complete, the ball is now in NEXCOM’s court to work with the group’s leadership and put the plan into action, and Church is confident NEXCOM has the information it needs to make smart choices, decide on timing and secure a budget.
“We came out with a very detailed picture of our current situation and what we need to do to move forward with our plan,” Church said. “We have exactly what we need to make decisions.”