Montgomery Ward stocks up

COMPANY: Montgomery Ward, Chicago
PURPOSE: The pilot data warehouse was implemented to address promotional instock issues and maintain proper levels of inventory.

APPLICATION: Montgomery Ward Data Warehouse Pilot -- Montgomery Ward, Chicago, constantly faces the issue of maintaining proper levels of inventory for advertised items. The Chicago-based department store chain organized a project team in March 1997 to develop reports that could project potential inventory problems and measure inventory performance once a promotion was completed.

By May, Montgomery Ward had signed agreements with Sunnyvale, Calif-based Prism Solutions Inc., a maker of warehouse tools, and SPR, a data warehouse consulting company, to implement a pilot project.

Morton Mease, director of information services and technology at Montgomery Ward, said the guiding project principles were: to develop a limited scope data model; to source data elements; to extract and load data using a repeatable process and; to establish an information architecture on which to build.

The Prism Warehouse Executive was used to generate programs that would extract and integrate data from multiple source environments. A major challenge was the complexity of both the source and target environments. The Montgomery Ward database is comprised of 43 relational tables residing in DB2 PE. According to Mease, the development staff using the tools had no detailed knowledge of the source systems from which data was to be extracted for the data warehouse.

The Prism iterations methodology was implemented, and the project was completed in October 1997. Management agreed that all objectives were met, and integrated data was made available for a decision support process.

- Deborah Melewski


MORTON MEASE, director, information services and technology, Montgomery Ward

ROM SIWEK, DBA, Montgomery Ward

BARRY SHERMAN, consulting project manager, Prism Solutions

STEVE MEISTER, data architect, Prism Solutions

ARIF MOHAMED, data acquisition, SPR (a Prism consulting partner)

CLARENCE EAST, data acquisition, SPR

ART LEUBBE, data acquisition, Prism Solutions

RICHARD GERBRANDT, data modeler, Prism Solutions

MARK CLYMER, source system expert, Whitman-Hart

SHUBHAYU RAKSHIT, data access, Prism Solutions


LAUREL CLARK, documentation, Prism Solutions

The pilot project allowed the company to learn more about its operational systems and determine requirements for development of a production data warehouse system. Long term, a data warehouse and flexible data access capabilities are expected to provide significant business value to the entire organization.

Prism Warehouse Manager, Prism Warehouse Executive, Prism Warehouse Directory; MicroStrategy DSS Toolset

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