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Information Systems Strategy Development at Sainsbury's Supermarkets Using "Soft" OR

Richard J. Ormerod
Interfaces
Vol. 26, No. 1, Franz Edelman Award Papers (Jan. - Feb., 1996), pp. 102-130
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25062088
Page Count: 29
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Information Systems Strategy Development at Sainsbury's Supermarkets Using "Soft" OR
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Abstract

In 1989, Sainsbury's, the largest UK supermarket chain, developed a new information systems (IS) strategy. To obtain management ownership of the strategy and commitment to implementation, it adopted a participative approach using "soft" OR methods. The resulting strategy was projected to cost $73 million and give annual benefits of $64 million. Five years into the strategy the outcome can be evaluated. Inevitably the strategy has evolved. Implementation has taken longer and costs are more than estimated; but benefits are exceeding expectations. The results indicate the effectiveness of the decision-making process used, showing that qualitative OR approaches can be used to good effect and can sometimes be subjected to quantitative assessment.

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