Brand Awareness of Spencer’s and Comparative Analysis with Big Bazaar

mba projects in marketingSpencer’s Retail in India is in an enviable but challenging position instead of trying to generate new business, it is struggling to keep up with explosive growth. Approximately two years ago, the company had approximately 60 stores and 4,000 employees; today, it has more than 350 stores and 15,000 employees.

By 2004 the retail industry was growing rapidly in India, and Spencer’s Retail decided to pursue an aggressive expansion strategy. The company had the customers, the products, and the employees to make it happen. It just needed an IT infrastructure that could support rapid growth. Current servers were at capacity, and the company needed to upgrade before adding new stores. Amit Mukerjee, Group CIO of the RPG Group, describes the challenge as part of the learning curve for retail development in India. ―Retailing is a new business in this country. As the business matures, the process matures, and IT systems must evolve accordingly.

The company also needed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to handle critical processes such as supply-chain management. It decided to implement mySAP ERP, now called SAP ERP, and realized the solution needed to run on high-performance servers. Spencer’s Retail evaluated several possibilities, including servers from HP, IBM, and Sun Microsystems. It decided to build its IT infrastructure on Sun systems for several reasons. Sun SPARC Enterprise Servers had the performance and scalability needed to sustain its business, and they delivered higher performance at less cost. Sun’s knowledge of the retail space in India, as well as its long history with RGP Enterprises, were also deciding factors.

Spencer’s Retail chose Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 servers with four dual-core 2.1 GHz SPARC 64 VI processors as the center of its production environment. Designed for consolidation and virtualization, Sun SPARC Enterprise Servers bring mainframe-class utilization and efficiency levels to the open systems market. Supporting hardware partitions and Solaris Containers, these systems deliver deliver 24/7 mission-critical services while reducing power, cooling, and space requirements.

After an eight-month testing period beginning in early 2005, the company installed the SAP ERP database software on two Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 servers in a high-availability cluster with Sun Cluster 3.2 software. The disaster recovery solution ensures business continuity with advanced failover protection.The cluster is connected to a Sun StorageTek 6540 array through a Dell Brocade SW200E Switch. ASun StorageTek SL500 Modular Library System is used for data backup as well. The solution also includes Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120, Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000, and Sun Fire V490 servers used to support both production and quality assurance functions.

Spencer’s Retail has rolled out its SAP solution to approximately 160 stores and expects to complete deployment to more than 350 stores by October 2008. The company purchased the SunSpectrum Enterprise Service Plan to help support the ambitious project. Indranil Guha, head of the ERP data center at Spencer & Co. says, ―We are always in touch with Sun; we work with it as a partner. Good customer service is very important to us, because we run our entire business on Sun servers.‖

The company is meeting its initial goals for a high-performance solution with room for growth. It has already observed that data transactions run as much as five times faster on the new systems. And it estimates that its current solution can easily handle up to 1,000 stores. The company also appreciates that the more energy-efficient and compact design will reduce space and power requirements.

Spencer’s Retail plans to enhance its IT environment further with a new disaster recovery site, which will include Sun Fire V890 servers and Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 servers running Solaris Cluster software connected to a StorageTek 6140 array. It will also use Sun StorageTek Data Replicator Software software to mirror data between the production environment and the remote location. Together with its new server infrastructure, the disaster recover installation will provide the high-performance, high-availability solution the company envisioned. With its business processes running on Sun infrastructure, Spencer’s Retail can meet business growth with confidence.

Company Profile Spencer’s retail is the largest* supermarket chain in India. We offer a complete range of products & durables, from bread to bed cover; from toothpaste to even television sets. Today Spencer’s has 100 stores spread across 25 cities with a retail trading area of more than half a million square feet, and we’re growing rapidly. Spencer’s is the shopping choice for millions across the country, 2.8 million to be exact, who frequent our stores every month.

Today Spencer’s offers its customers a customized and convenient shopping experience in 5 different formats. Each format, namely the Spencer’s Express, Spencer’s Fresh, Spencer’s Daily, Spencer’s Super and Spencer’s Hyper is differently sized and caters to the various needs of our consumers. We at Spencer’s offer a pleasant and delightful shopping experience by ensuring convenient store locations, trusted quality, great value for money and a wide array of products. And these qualities characterize all of our 100 stores, across the country.

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