Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Dick’s Sporting Software

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Interesting read from The Wall Street Journal’s “CIO Journal” about Dick’s Sporting Goods building all of its software in house:

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is betting that building all its software in house, as opposed to relying on third-party vendors, will give it a competitive advantage.

Chief Technology Officer Paul Gaffney is spearheading the effort after taking a similar approach at his previous employer, Home Depot Inc.

“In a lot of retail, there’s been a tradition that tools were designed at headquarters and inflicted on the store [employees]. We’ve been trying to turn that around,” said Mr. Gaffney, who joined Dick’s in late 2017.

In 2019, Gaffney indicates that his staff “will finish the transition to in-house software for all its e-commerce platforms, after developing new software for inventory tracking.”

The eight-person team that developed the inventory software has a self-imposed goal to earn at least 10 times the cost of the team in annual revenue. The goal was set in October and the team is about halfway there, Mr. Gaffney said, adding that he tells his staff: “Don’t get excited about shipping a feature—get excited about when the feature turns into revenue and turns into profit.”

Example: 

Thanks to its tech overhaul, Dick’s is now able to list sports products online within 30 minutes of a major event, such as a championship win or a player trade, Mr. Gaffney said. Previously, that used to take three to five days, he said. “Our ability to do that really depends on us controlling all of the elements of the pipeline,” he said.

The story points out that Dick’s e-commerce sales have increased 17 percent in the quarter ended February 2 from the year-earlier period, and that “transforming the technology group has improved productivity and the customer experience.”

The new inventory software—developed by a team comprising six engineers, a design manager and a product manager—was deployed to all stores in September. The tool provides real-time product information, inventory availability and alternative product recommendations. Ease of use is a priority for all newly built technology, because it helps attract younger talent used to consumer technology products, Mr. Gaffney said. Dick’s is one of several companies who are revamping technology to suit the millennial workforce.

Build it and they will come…and buy.

Written by turbotodd

March 26, 2019 at 12:48 pm

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