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Information technology sourcing changes in an SME: Ça Va de Soi in the cloud with diamonds

Abstract

This case study presents the information technology (IT) sourcing decisions made by a Canadian small and medium enterprise specializing in knitwear, called Ça Va de Soi (CVDS), during the deployment of the second phase of their two-phase organizational strategy based on a “Bricks and Clicks” business model. CVDS has 30 employees and 5 stores with annual sales of around $CDN 5 million (2015). The case focuses on phase two, the “Clicks,” where an IT project, divided into two parallel subprojects, was realized: (1) the custom development of an ERP system, and (2) the creation of an online e-commerce. The project was based on an “on-premises” sourcing strategy where the information systems were developed “in-house” by external service providers. After several months of efforts, the subprojects were abandoned and CVDS’ activities were rolled back to their legacy systems (Part A). Pulling the plug on the IT project was a tough decision for CVDS who still needed the online store to be implemented in order to support its stores’ activities. However, CVDS’ management team considered this failure as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, review, and transform its IT sourcing strategy (Part B).

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Notes

  1. http://www.cavadesoi.com/.

  2. The slow fashion movement picks up on the spirit of the slow food movement, encouraging environmentally friendly processes with timeless style (Jung and Jin 2014).

  3. Appendix 1 presents a timeline of the main decisions and events in CVDS’s history.

  4. Appendix 2 presents a brief description of CVDS’ employees and the members of the management team.

  5. “Spinners” are the textile manufacturers who convert the fiber, such as cotton and wool, into yarn and fabric. Spinning is a process in which fibers are converted by passing through certain processes like blow room, carding, drawing, combing, simplex, ring frame, and finally winding into yarns (Wikipedia).

  6. At CVDS, there are three main inventory systems: (1) Raymark is the point-of-sale and inventory system in the stores, (2) FashionCart is used in the stores and at the warehouse to place orders, and (3) MBI is used in the warehouse to manage inventory. Appendix 3 presents a detailed description of these three systems and CVDS’s existing IT infrastructure.

  7. Diagnostic report on CVDS’ digital capacity realized by VESTECHPRO (https://vestechpro.com/en/) with the collaboration of CEFRIO.

  8. Most of CVDS’ employees are under 35 years old, are very familiar with digital tools and enthusiastic about new IT.

  9. http://www.inbizerp.com/.

  10. http://magento.com/.

  11. http://www.flyconseils.com/.

  12. https://www.yammer.com/.

  13. https://www.lightspeedhq.com/. LightSpeed’s POS system is used by more than 24,000 organizations worldwide.

Reference

  • Jung, S., and B. Jin. 2014. A theoretical investigation of slow fashion: Sustainable future of the apparel industry. International Journal of consumer studies 38 (5): 510–519.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dragos Vieru.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Timeline of main events in CVDS’ history

Appendix 2: CVDS’ stakeholders

Names Functions Tasks descriptions Management team
Antoine
Nasri
Founder
Owner of CVDS
In charge of product design, supplier/manufacturer relationships, finance, and budget approvals X
Fadi External IT consultant In charge of maintenance and evolution of CVDS’s IT infrastructure  
Geneviève Labrosse Store manager Montréal regional manager and head of training for the two stores in Montréal  
Gabrielle
Nasri
VP operations
VP HR
In charge of human resource management, store operations, training, and internal communications X
Gonzales
Elpidio
Warehouse manager In charge of logistics and warehouse
Manages inventory levels
 
Kinza
Nasri
VP merchandising
VP marketing
In charge of marketing strategy, such as campaign management, web strategy, and social networks
IT project manager
X
Marc-Olivier
Joly Comptois
Warehouse clerk Warehouse and logistics employee
In-house specialist in Raymark system
 
Marie-Lou Joly Accountant
Process specialist
In charge of accounting and formalizing business processes X
Nathalie
Giroux
Web store manager In charge of the web platform: product entry, data analysis, serving online customers, etc.  
Odile Bougain Nasri Founder of CVDS
Head of marketing
In charge of CVDS stores and branding X
Stephanie Boridy Content manager In charge of content management (newsletter, web)
Manages social media campaigns and blog
 

Appendix 3: CVDS’ information technology infrastructure (before the IT projects)

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Bourdeau, S., Vieru, D. Information technology sourcing changes in an SME: Ça Va de Soi in the cloud with diamonds. J Info Technol Teach Cases 8, 70–80 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41266-017-0023-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41266-017-0023-5

Keywords

  • Small and medium enterprise (SME)
  • IT project failure
  • IT sourcing Strategy
  • SaaS
  • Organizational vision
  • Partner selection