Blog: Leonie BarrieComputer calamity

Leonie Barrie | 5 May 2006

Earlier this week I wrote about a useful Software Scorecard that rates apparel-specific software systems based upon the results of user feedback. Well one piece of information that’s also emerged this week highlights just how difficult – and expensive – implementing an IT system can be.

Contained within retailer Matalan’s financial results was news that the company’s plunge in pre-tax profits from GBP80.5m to GBP36.3m was partly due to a GBP20.4m write-down on a new computer system. And what’s more, it’s considering suing the consultancy firm that advised it.

Kurt Salmon Associates was on hand to help Matalan overhaul its IT system between 2001 and 2004, but the discount fashion chain has now decided its old system was better. So instead of switching to the half-finished new one, it intends to keep the existing system. Even more humiliating is the fact that the key replenishment and merchandising systems have yet to be finished, and five years down the line the company is no further forward...just poorer.


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