Cognizant has just engaged with Lewis Spence* a leading European Retail company that has seen rapid
growth over the past 3 years (predominately through acquisition) and has substantially increased its
European footprint having begun trading (as Lewis Plc) in the UK in 2001.
This is a significant win to our business and one that will involve a number of project teams engaging
with them to fulfill their requirements over a number of months.
Issues for consideration
For a number of years Lewis Spence have used various providers to develop their website as they have
grown as a company (and acquired other companies). The current site is a reworked version of an
earlier site that was designed when the company launched.
The company has acknowledged that they need to give the site a modern, more approachable feel, and
to make the user experience as straightforward and logical as possible. Lewis Spence operate in a very
competitive business area, and so any competitive edge that we can provide through the web site can
make a real difference to their overall operational ability.
While the site’s design is clearly important to meeting the company’s business objectives, it’s the
functionality and ongoing web development that will drive the site forward and really allow the site to
respond to the user’s and site owner’s needs.
In addition in today’s competitive environment, analysing data to predict market trends and to improve
organisational performance is an essential business activity. As businesses continue to use Information
Technology for a growing number of functions, our clients face the challenge of processing and analysing
huge amounts of data and turning them into profits and Lewis Spence is no exception.
The company would like us to help them to improve their business processes and supply chain
management as well as better manage the data that they currently hold and offer solutions to enable them
to take their business to the next level.
To be successful, our customer needs rapid, easy access to time critical information about their stock,
customers, and external market conditions and to have the ability to connect with their customers in a
timely and appropriate way.
As mentioned our customers business grew up predominately through acquisition and therefore has
multiple back-end systems. Data is stored in a variety of databases (predominantly SQL Server, Oracle) and
reporting is performed by several tools (Brio, MicroStrategy, Crystal Reports). The front-end was a custom
Java application. Many of the report production processes contained manual elements.
Lastly as part of our engagement with Lewis Spence we have been asked to help them to reduce
operating costs while increasing efficiency and consistency within the IT and quality assurance areas.
Prior to Cognizant’s involvement software testing was primarily managed at the project level with no
formal process, methodology, metrics collection or reporting. All testing is currently being performed on
site at significant cost.
Lewis Spence is looking for some quick wins as well as a long term solution integrating all data onto one
back end system.
As an analyst within one of our business areas and part of the initial project team you are required to
attend the initial meeting with the client representative.
You have 1 hour to prepare for this meeting. (this needs to be done in advance of the assessment day)
In order to prepare you will need to consider;
What you think the priorities are and how you would categorise them(in terms of grouping
together and when they should be actioned)
Prepare a next steps and approximate time line
Suggest some proposals on solutions that Lewis Spence may wish to investigate further
Think about questions you would ask the client / information that you would like the client to
An overview of time required per project, size of team(s) and where these team members would be