Home Depot (HD) Chief Information Officer Matt Carey detailed to the Wall Street Journal how the company’s Digital Transformation strategy enabled it to successfully meet the unprecedented shift in customer demand and business operations caused by the COVID‑19 shutdown. HD’s cloud-based IT infrastructure supported the huge increase in online sales while competitors struggled to adapt as smoothly to the new environment. HD’s cloud back-end meant these initiatives could be launched much more quickly than if they managed their own IT hardware infrastructure.
Mr. Carey also detailed how the flexibility of their software IT allowed the company to successfully deal with logistical challenges and repurpose warehouses and distribution centers to support on-line sales.
As a result, the HD experienced the biggest quarterly sales growth in 20 years over the May-July period, with digital sales increasing by 100% in 2Q20.
In April, Cyberhedge published a Spotlight report highlighting how digital was going to be a difference maker for Home Depot. Cyberhedge 5-Star Home Depot’s digital strategy and solid technology management set it apart from its competitors and boded well for future revenue and margin growth for the home improvement giant.
HD was able to quickly implement the new apps and other systems management programs that supported its smooth transition to a more ‘digital first’ ordering environment because of the investments it had made in its digital systems—including in the ‘One Home Depot’ strategy—before the pandemic struck. The difference between HD and its peers was not the cloud—every retailer has access to it — but the strategy and plans it was executing on well before March that made the company more nimble and adaptable.
This illustrates very well the reality that those companies which executed strong Digital Transformation (DT) strategies before the pandemic have experienced accelerated positive impacts on their operations and financial performance. This has resulted in even greater market outperformance vs. lagging peers than had already been evident before. HD’s investment in its DT strategy has clearly paid off, and like other companies with well-executed strategies, the positive financial impact from this has put it in a position to make additional revenue and margin enhancing investments to further distance itself from peers.