A 5-Step Approach to Customer-Centricity

Posted by Tim R on December 9, 2020


C&A is a European fashion retailer with 179 years' worth of experience changing the way clothing is distributed, purchased, and used. In the past ten years, this has been particularly evident in its strong omni-channel shopping network — a transformation which Martin Wieschollek, Team Lead Enterprise Architecture at C&A, explained to audiences at EA Connect Days 2020.

In his presentation, Wieschollek described how C&A’s effort to become customer-centric was the biggest project the company had ever conducted. Senior IT and business management focused the transformation on two key objectives: (1) the optimization of its omni-channel capabilities and (2) the transformation of the supply chain. Both requirements nonetheless entailed systematically redesigning C&A’s core processes and systems.

To ensure customer-centric product delivery in a top-down, cross-functional organization like C&A, the company went against conventional EA wisdom to base workflow around processes rather than business capabilities. It’s a strategy that might sound sacrilegious to regular readers of the LeanIX blog, but Wieschollek carefully fine-tuned the following five-step approach after years in process management:

Step 1: Process application mapping

  • An end-to-end business process framework with each business process was documented in Signavio.
  • Process owners on both business and IT sides were nominated to align to the processes.
  • Applications of strategic partners were mapped to each process in LeanIX.

Step 2: Designing the flow

  • Based on best practices and application standards, the target business processes were defined.
  • Major objectives included validating new processes, securing process owner buy-in, confirming application fit, and cementing business cases.

Step 3: Integration architecture in LeanIX with SIPOC

  • Output-driven analysis of suppliers (application), inputs (interface/data), processes (applications + capabilities), outputs (interfaces/data), and customers (applications) (i.e., "SIPOC") were based on the entities of the LeanIX data model.

Step 4: Refine the architecture

  • Align the overall fit of processes and applications to target operations model.
  • Remediate gaps in applications to target processes.
  • Minimize overlaps and redundancies in applications.

Step 5: Publish target architecture v1.0

  • Developed stronger positioning during vendor negotiations with more transparency on C&A needs and architectural discussions with vendors.
  • Optimized integration architecture to reduce TCO of target landscape and increase overall flexibility.
  • Established one version of the truth.



For more information on the success of C&A with an EA tool, take a look at their LeanIX Success Story: "A Greenfield Approach to IT Modernization with C&A and LeanIX". As well, be sure to subscribe to the LeannIX YouTube channel for even more videos on business transformation with EA! Popular videos include: