At the recent Oracle Industry Connect event, I had the opportunity to learn about the digital transformation of Casey’s General Stores — the fourth-largest convenience chain in the U.S., with 2,000 stores across 15 states. It’s a small-town retailer based in Iowa: many of the stores serve towns with fewer than 5,000 residents. The Casey’s case study is a good example of a traditional retailer completing a digital transformation while maintaining its focus on company culture.
Casey’s is a company with longstanding values focused on employees: “The company doesn’t lay off people, and offers its own child care,” noted Thomas McElroy, Principal, Deloitte Consulting, who worked hand-in-hand with Casey’s during the transformation. It was not a culture focused on change and disruption.
But with continued growth in mind, Casey’s needed to create an infrastructure that could withstand multiple mergers and acquisitions. Digital transformation became the goal. Plunging forward, the retailer had “several early missteps with some tech implementations,” McElroy explained. “They were thinking about it from the viewpoint of ‘What is the latest technology people have been talking about?’”
After bringing on Deloitte as a consulting partner, the Casey’s executive team took a step back and started thinking about technology from the standpoint of “what the customer wanted.” According to McElroy, “Casey’s became people-first vs. technology-first.”
After reviewing several solution providers, Casey’s chose to move forward with Oracle to implement Oracle Cloud and Oracle Retail.
With Deloitte’s help, Casey’s embraced an Agile development methodology and abandoned the Waterfall approach they previously used. The company managed organizational challenges involved with moving to the cloud, including adding a Chief Digital Officer and a Chief Procurement Officer.
It’s a difficult decision for many companies to transform their traditional ways of operating while engaging key company stakeholders in the process. Casey’s developed an internal core steering committee that worked closely with Deloitte and Oracle, while keeping the lines of communication open with employees.
Poised for growth, the company is planning to expand east in 2018.