Hardware Retail Digital Strategy Sandbox

Leader: Lesley Land
Team: Toomas Tamm, Malshika Dias, Shan Pan


Digital technologies are rapidly reshaping both the customer-facing and internal processes across many industries. Among these, the retail sector has arguably seen some of the most profound changes to date. Many of the first examples of digital disruption of successful incumbents originated in this sector. While the first to be affected were retailers selling digitizable goods (e.g., book store chains, music and video retailers), the effects of digitization are increasingly felt across the industry. According to Gartner, retailers are among the most concerned about the risk of digitally-enabled market entrants. This sandbox focuses on analyzing the impact of digitization on the specialist retail sector of hardware, building and plumbing supplies, where the traditional bricks and mortar model is still dominant but where digital enablement is beginning to play an increasingly important role.

Participating Organization

Our industry partner is an established independent supplier of hardware, building, plumbing and renovation products in Sydney. They have a large range of products in stock and deal with a large number of suppliers. A key focus for our partner is providing high-quality customer service and specialist advice through its expert sales staff.

Impact Statement

This sandbox will assess how a traditional bricks and mortar retailer can benefit from building digitally-enabled capabilities, and how to make this transition. Specifically, the sandbox will:

  • develop an overview of the business’s current IT systems and capabilities
  • analyse the business’ vision and mission to identify key short-term and long-term goals
  • assess key areas of strengths and weaknesses in how these existing capabilities currently support the business strategy
  • identify opportunities for better supporting the business strategy through digital technologies
  • identify potential threats related to digital disruptors
  • provide recommendations on how to transition from a traditional retail model by enhancing the organization’s core strengths through considered use of digital technology