Lowe’s is a home improvement warehouse that was founded in 1946 as a single store and since has grown to become the second largest in the world. As technology has evolved, Lowe’s has made many advances incorporating new systems and devices to stay competitive. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the information technology management systems used at Lowe’s. It will look at Porter’s Five Force Model, supply chain management; data base management system, five agent-based technologies, e-commerce and system development lifecycle. Furthermore, it will look at business continuity planning, emerging trends and security vulnerabilities relates to the organization to remain competitive.
Lowe’s employs more than 260,000 people in more than 1830 stores; these employees are trained to provide exceptional customer service as well as receiving up-to-date product knowledge to assist customers with their improvement needs. In addition, Lowe’s has upgraded store information technology infrastructure to assist employees in accessing product data faster and easier. This is accomplished by providing the sales team with computers that have Internet access, and Ipad’s and Iphone’s loaded with specialized apps (Lowes, 2014).
Porter’s Five Forces Model
Threat of Entry. Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. and is expanding into other countries. Their stores carry a wide variety of major brands with “40,000 products in stock, 500,000 items available online at Lowes.com and more than 500,000 more products available by Special Order” (Lowe's, 2014).
Rivalry. Home Depot, Ace Hardware and Menards are the biggest competition that Lowe’s faces. With Home Depot being the largest home improvement retailer, Lowe’s is continually expanding and eating away at Home Depots market share.
Threat of Substitutes. The threat of substitution is in the services available to consumers. Customers may choose to install their own products such as cabinets or plumbing fixtures rather than have a Lowe’s contractor perform the work.
Buying Power. Customers have a slight advantage since other retailers offering similar items. The way Lowe’s can separate them from the competition is to offer a product mix that appeals to both male and female needs.
Supplier Power. With a vast variety of products available to Lowe’s, the supplier power is low. Lowe’s can choose from different vendors the products mix that differ from their competition. In addition, entering contractual agreements with vendors helps in lowering this risk.
Supply Chain Management Systems
The Supply Chain Management System used at Lowe’s is a collaboration process. According to LeRoy Allen, Senior Vice President of Logistics for Lowe's Companies, as cited by Real Results Magazine (2012), Lowe’s has more than 3,000 suppliers and having effective communication with all of them is difficult. Providing them with key information helps them, not...