Zara: IT For Fast Fashion

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Executive Summary
Spanish Inditex’s most successful retail clothing store Zara is known all across the world for its trendy apparel (Mcafee, Dessain, & Sjoman, 2004). The company has been very successful throughout the years but management has recently decided that the IT infrastructure may need updating. The store currently runs off of a POS system supported by DOS, which has not been supported by Microsoft for several years (Ferdows, Lewis, & Machuca, 2004). The POS system has been working flawlessly for many years, however, management is worried that the hardware vendor for the POS machines will stop providing this outdated machines (Ferdows et al., 2004). The purpose of this paper is for Salgado, the head of the technical department at Inditex, to analyze whether Zara should keep the system that has worked well for so long, or to upgrade it to a newer technology with more advanced features. The issues surrounding the DOS system, dial-up modem, networking abilities, manual inventory system, and handheld computers will be discussed in detail. Out of the alternatives and options examined, I will make recommendations to the company in favor of updating the POS system to Windows, as well as set an implementation plan for how they can rollout this project. Monitors and controls will be decided on how the project will be evaluated. Introduction Zara, Inditex’s most successful retail clothing store has come to a crossroads in regards to its IT infrastructure (Mcafee et al., 2004). The company is headquartered in La Coruna, Spain (Mcafee et al., 2004). There are 650 Zara stores across 50 countries (Mcafee et al., 2004). Zara’s marketing task is focused on customer’s responsiveness to demand supplying small batches of clothing within three weeks of the emergence of the fashion trend (Mcafee et al., 2004). This allows them to rely on their loyal customers to frequently visit their stores (Mcafee et al., 2004). Zara’s competition includes The Gap, Benettons, and



References: Ferdows, K., Lewis, M., & Machuca, A. (2004). Rapid-Fire Fulfillment. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from http://hbr.org/2004/11/rapid-fire-fulfillment/ar/1 Mcafee, A., Dessain, V., & Sjoman, A. (2004). Zara : IT for Fast Fashion. Harvard Business School, 9-604-081.

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