Overview of Step 3b – Enter your locations
In this step you need to enter all of your organisation’s locations, providing you with an alternative view on the organisation of your company. Later on you will map them against your IT systems. This will highlight the relationship between locations, processes and systems.
How to use the screen
- A location group is organized on two levels: Regions and Categories.
- Start entering your organisation regions in the blue area, followed by the location.
- Any location item can be deleted by clicking on the red x next to it.
- If you need to enter more locations, click on Add Column and a blank new location group will display.
- Once all your locations have been entered click Save & Continue.
Region: primary areas in which you operate: continents, countries or large areas (E.g. Asia or North West England).
Location: the specific country, area or location from which your organisation operates (E.g. Tokyo Branch, or Head Office)
For more details see the Glossary.
Why do we need the structure of your organisation?
Every company has a number of key dimensions which they can use to measure themselves, for IT the most critical is the process dimension that you entered at step 2 in Strategy4IT. In order to process the information further we also need information about your organisational structure. We have chosen the three most common organisational dimensions on which to structure the information about your firm in our reports. These are products, locations and business units. We use this information in our method and reports to map and show your IT usage. By comparing how an IT service is used on different dimensions it is possible to identify excess complexity and savings opportunities.
What if I only have one product, location or business unit?
Some organisations may only require two of these dimensions in order to review their landscape but most will apply to all our customers. It is possible that an organisation has many products covered and supported by many departments or business units , but operates from only one location. Likewise, it is also possible that one product is delivered from many locations with the support of multiple departments or business units. This is not a problem, you can just enter the one item and ignore this dimension for the reporting, it will still be valuable to compare the other two when defining your assessment.
What is a region/location and how do I compile my list?
You can use the region and location entry in a number of different ways depending on how you manage your firm. Start by making a list of all the physical offices, buildings, production and distribution centres that your firm uses, however small. Then group the list together with the aim of having a sensible target list of between 8 to 20 locations in about 4 to 8 regional groups. Do not forget to include your head office which is often a special case. If you are a large global firm you may find your offices are best broken down by defining ‘regions’ as continents and ‘locations’ as cities, perhaps grouping smaller sites into a ‘Rest of xxxx’ group such as ‘Rest of Asia’ to avoid having too long a list. Medium sized firms operating in a single country might find that ‘regions’ act as areas within a country the best approach, for example ‘North West’. ‘Locations’ would then correspond to the towns in which there are operations to consider. Some firms will find it useful to be creative and have a group for special channels to the market place, for example a travel company may want to have a location for ‘resort offices’, or a service company may want to include ‘off-site/home working’ as a special case. The system does not restrict your choice other than limiting the number of items you can enter according to your price plan.
Do you have some examples that can help me structure my list?
We can give you two examples to think about and help with your structure. Let us consider a service based company such as a travel agent, and a physical goods supplier such as a clothing retailer.
The travel agent has a central head office split across two buildings and a number of regional sales offices. They also have regional support offices for travel agents using their services, support regionally for their main holiday areas, and access for representatives in each resort. In this case we can imagine something like this for the groupings:
The clothing retailer in our example operates through two different small chains of high street shops and also has a series of concessions in larger department stores. In addition, they also have a separate dry cleaning business that was recently acquired and is being added to the portfolio. In this case the company has two head offices that are being integrated – one from the retailer and the other from the merging cleaning business, plus an internet sales depot. In addition to this there are just a list of outlets by town and no regional hierarchy.
This would be an example way to structure the business within Strategy4IT:
1) How many locations can I enter?
This depends on your price plan – 9 for the trial version or 32 for the professional version. We advise to keep the total number under 20 for readability of the results.
2) I have too many locations for my plan what can I do?
If you are on the trial version please upgrade to the full professional version to gain more space for entry. If you are already on the professional version then you can consider grouping minor locations together, for example grouping ‘All Resorts’ or ‘Sales Offices’ together, as per our travel example above. In grouping the items together consider if they are actually very different or not. For example, all the small sales or service offices you have in one area may share exactly the same systems and services, if so it is reasonable to group them. If there are substantial differences in their IT then think whether sub-groups would make the most sense for your firm. If this is proving too difficult then please contact us and one of our consultants could be available to guide you through the process.
3) How many region groups can I have?
The locations are available in groups as regions. You may find one group is all you need if you are a smaller firm, a larger one in the extreme can have as many as eight or more groups. The only restriction is on the total number of locations you can enter so please use as many regions as you need.
4) I only have one location what can I do?
Even if you are a very small company or a single location firm then you can still benefit from the added dimensions on product and business unit in our full professional version of the assessment. Just enter your head office location and proceed to the next stage of the assessment.
5) When I added/amended the region the first location line changed?
We have a speed entry feature that means when you enter a region name the first location is defaulted to the same name. You can just type over the first location if it is different.
6) I want to delete a location I have already entered and mapped later in the workflow – can I do this?
You can delete a product by clicking on the red cross next to it, but any mapping data entered in step 6 will be lost when you press save.
7) I want to reorder the list – can I do this?
If you are not passed step 6 or are still on the first stage of your entry you can just over type the list to reorder. Once you have passed step 6 mapping your systems to their products it is difficult to reorder the list in this version of Strategy4IT without deleting and re entering all products in a region. However, we will be adding a reorder function to a future release of this tool.