Macy's, Inc. through its subsidiaries, operates approximately 800 department stores in the United States. Its retail stores sell a range of merchandise, including apparel, home furnishings, and house wares. Senior management has decided that Macy's needs to tailor merchandise more to local tastes, and that colors, sizes, brands, and styles of clothing and other merchandise should be based on the sales patterns in each individual Macy's store.
1. How could information systems help Macy's management implement this new strategy?
It's a fact that the management should concern on the taste of products that are maximally purchased by the locals. In this case the management can collect the statistical data from the market and analyse them using statistical/analytical software applications. Moreover the data collection can be done by online campaign, a survey, whatever is available. Macy's can get more information from "the way their competitors are following”. If they analyse the case of some pre-established and best selling companies in the locality, then the study will obviously be fruitful to a great extent. The company itself need not have to bother about the data collection, analysis and result finding but there are many agencies that perform the tasks of survey and interpretation too. The company may use Facebook, Google like online platform to collect data or advertising its products. If Macy's Inc. implements such MIS then the number of managers required for day to day operation will decline to a great trend and thus the manpower can be used in other sectors too. Moreover Macy's can use MIS to optimize the workflow process between departments thus number of managers and departments can be decreased or the human labor on calculation or analysis tasks can be replaced by automated computer software.
2. What pieces of data should these systems collect to help management make merchandising decisions that support this strategy?
The system should collect data about current fashion in the market, the age group of people visiting the store. The MIS should collect data about the frequency people visit the store, which day of week, month or which season of year the users visit the store, the purpose too. Then depending on the TREND company can make its production strategies. It should collect information about what kind of items they purchase in which frequency. How much are the customers ready to pay for the launched products etc. Further what payment systems the customers feel comfortable to use in Macy's Inc. stores. By getting this type of information the company will know what further systems should the company adopt and improve. This will further help make strategic plans for long term.