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Leveraging It Vendors at Sleepsmart

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The SleepSmart case study highlights some of the best practices that we have been studying. Stan was able to make headway with the executives and develop a plan to bring all the disparate systems together or eliminate them entirely with SSTA. Some of the key values of Stan’s plan were mutual success; favorable pricing and maximum value; the speed of execution; and shared governance involving business, IT, and the vendors. The key in this was to get the approved vendors to buy into the plan. Each vendor wanted to have some amount of confidentiality in their proprietary technologies. By facilitating collaboration and cooperation SSTA was able to provide the IT change needed to help SleepSmart.

After the implementation of SSTA, Stan looked at the results of and used the measurement of SleepSmart’s revenues. Stan interpreted the decline is sales revenue as a bad sign and that SSTA was a successful venture. The problem in this is that it only measures one metric; sales revenue. There are other significant metrics to look at. Cycle Time, costs, and technical service quality were improved. These metrics show that the SSTA was actually a very successful venture.

Stan’s SSTA plan will need to be systematically updated to handle new vendors and new technologies. The blueprint laid out at the onset will not continue to support or provoke innovative ideas to increase revenue streams. It is never nice to call someone’s “baby” ugly; however, some focus needs to be put on the product being sold. If the customers just do not like the beds or products SleepSmart is offering then the business side needs to rethink their product line. The IT department with Stan’s plan along with SSTA should then be able to accommodate new vendors and product lines. The pricing incentives offered by Gregg created a guarantee for the vendors of promised sales to SleepSmart while lowering their pre-sales expenditures. This also created a winning scenario for SleepSmart as it promised them a higher level of technology without the time and energy spent in constant contract negotiations.

With the prices being set, SleepSmart could pre-determine their IT expenditure in the foreseeable future. The Open sharing environment created by SSTA created a positive environment for SleepSmart as it promised a continuum of high technology while providing a showpiece site for the vendors to show off their technology developments and increase their sales to other customers. The design offered a clearly delineated technology plan allowing each vendor to know and highly develop their product line without immediate competition while also being able to participate in other development activities in other lines. It allowed the vendors to improve the functional competencies of their staff in the art of rapid software development, all at the benefit of SleepSmart’s level of technology.

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