Supergroup Removes Data Silos and Implements ITIL Best Practices

Executive Summary

Super Group is a broad-based supply chain management business encompassing the planning and management of all activities across the supply chain from the sourcing, procurement, transport, warehousing and distribution of goods and services. It has a strong IT focus and technology underpin, an international footprint and offers a comprehensive range of products and services.

Implementing ITIL best practice and gaining a full overview of the IT Service activities was challenging for Super Group due the number of siloed systems it had in place to deliver ITSM processes. There was much data but little useful data to help IT Service move forward with doing a better job, to manage expectations efficiently or to forward plan.

With three key requirements in hand, Super Group selected Cherwell Software® at the end of November 2011, and went ‘live’, with the help of Cherwell partner Revelation Data, mid-February 2012.

‘It all happened very quickly, but with Cherwell, we were further ahead in three months than we were with our previous solution in three years,’ says Johan Swart, GM IT, Super Group.

The Challenge

Prior to 2012, Super Group used various software systems to manage its IT Service. This was a challenge in itself. By using many different systems, many of the ITIL processes, like Incident Management and Problem Management, where siloed from each other making it difficult, if not impossible, to secure the full picture of the IT Service work, efficiencies and effectiveness.

‘We were using an independent system that provided us with lots of data, but the data was not in a format that managers could interpret,’ says Swart. ‘We had lots of data – lists and lists of data, but the data did not help us to be better at what we do or help us with forward planning.’

Frustrated with the current system, the team made an internal wish-list of what they really wanted in an ITSM solution. The three, key requirements agreed amongst the team included:

  1. A system that provided ITIL out-of-the-box
  2. A system that could be adopted and modified to meet changing business needs
  3. A system that was cost effective and cost efficient

The Solution

In early November 2011, with their wish-list in hand, Super Group was first introduced to Cherwell Software through a review of some of Cherwell’s webinars.

‘We were quite impressed,’ says Johan. ‘From the webinars alone, we could see that Cherwell understood what the ITIL world was all about. The one thing that interested us the most was Cherwell’s CBAT capability. We didn’t want to become developers, but we wanted a product that we could take and adapt. That’s what Cherwell is all about.’

Cherwell Software understands that things change often, and that’s why its intuitive wizards and simple drag-and-drop functionality allow users to easily modify the comprehensive suite of ITSM processes. With Cherwell’s Codeless Business Application technology (CBAT), users never need to write a line of code or script, which reduces the need for consultants and developers.

At the end of November 2011, Super Group had made up its mind that Cherwell was the right product, and in December, turned to Cherwell partner Revelation Data for implementation. For 20 years Revelation Data has helped many of South Africa’s top 100 organisations align IT processes with industry leading standards like ITIL.

With a new ITSM solution soon to go ‘live’, Super Group focused on a number of other activities to ensure it enjoyed a successful implementation. ‘There was a whole drive associated with implementing Cherwell,’ says Johan. ‘ITIL training took place, we agreed on processes we wanted to put into place, and we trained ‘power users’ from the various groups.’

On 15 February 2012, Super Group went live with Cherwell.

The Results

According to Johan, one of the best things about Cherwell is that the team could introduce a full set of dashboards that create visibility for management and a number of key teams, including engineering, enterprise architecture and the development team.

‘For each team, we set up specific dashboards that identify their operational activities in terms of work they have completed and work not yet completed, and they can see the activities of each individual on each team,’ says Johan. ‘The dashboards are very user friendly. They have a nice layout with nice colours. They are easy to use and easy to look at.’

‘We even created a dashboard for our CIO,’ says Johan. ‘Now he knows what’s going on and what’s not going on without having to ask.’

Cherwell’s easy-to-configure widgets create tailored dashboards with information that addresses specific metrics, such as service status, crossed thresholds and active requests. Rather than viewing stagnant charts, users can perform actions directly from the dashboard.

Besides the dashboard functionality, Cherwell provides Super Group with visibility across every single thing that IT does, which was always a problem for the company in the past due to the multiple systems it had in place for different processes. It also enables the IT team to better manage expectations and agreed projects thanks to forward visibility.

‘At the end of March, we were further ahead in three months than we were with our previous solution in three years,’ says Johan.

With the further introduction (via CBAT) of an IT Project Management platform, there is now full visibility of workloads across resources, teams and the entire IT department.

‘We now have a system that allows us to apply the words “continuous service improvement” in real-time,’ says Johan.

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