Lowe’s Team Update

The Lowe’s Team has been assigned two separate projects to complete during the course of the semester. Our “Swap-IT” project will add additional components (printers, terminals, and monitors) to Lowe’s “Swap-IT” system. Swap-IT allows in-store users to troubleshoot and replace components without contacting the Service Desk for help. Over 1.6 million calls are made to Lowe’s Service Desk each year at a cost of around $4 a call. Adding additional components to the Swap-IT system will drastically reduce the number of calls made, thus freeing up the Service Desk and saving the company the cost of each call.

Our second project is a little more demanding. It is our responsibility to track key data from the Self-Help web application on which the Swap-IT system is built. In short, we will create a reporting tool that will automatically query key usage data from SQL, export that data into Excel, and create charts for upper-level management. Creating this reporting tool will allow management to view and manipulate system usage data in order to discover which components are causing the most trouble in their stores.

Since Lowe’s is based in Charlotte, communication has been a test. Through weekly client calls and countless emails, we have successfully defined our project scope, moved past design, and started the build phase of each project. We are using a number of technologies (SQL, VB, ASP.net, and Excel) and familiarizing ourselves with each has been incredibly important in order to communicate our plans to Lowe’s. We are continuing to appreciate the value of teamwork, time management, and adaptation as we move toward project completion.

The University of Alabama MIS program allows students to work on real projects that provide real value to real companies. Students learn to leverage people, processes and technology to solve problems and meet the challenges of today’s businesses head-on. For more information, call 205-348-5525 or visit http://cba.ua.edu/mis.

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