Retail giant Coles has extended its relationship with Accenture to help it adopt Microsoft technologies, keep its SAP deployment moving, implement other tech-related elements of its “Smarter Selling” strategy and find new ways to innovate.
Accenture has been asked to “support key digital and technology development initiatives at Coles including the modernisation of Coles’ supply chain with global automation experts Witron and Ocado as well as the implementation of SAP systems for procurement, human resources, and finance,” the company said in a statement.
The consulting firm’s global Microsoft experience is also in play, with Coles saying Accenture’s “global strategic relationship with Microsoft … will be leveraged to help Coles deliver simpler, more efficient, and robust operations.”
SAP, Witron and Ocado were all named as critical pieces of the Smarter Selling strategy Coles unveiled in June 2018. In early July Coles named Azure its cloud of choice and revealed plans to migrate apps into Microsoft’s cloud.
“The partnership with Accenture will enable us to deliver the efficiencies we need for long-term sustainability, and provide the agility to respond to rapidly-evolving consumer needs. This is a vital part of Coles winning in its second century,” said Coles CEO Steven Cain.
Cain didn’t say what the deal will be worth, but said it is expected to “help Coles deliver cumulative cost savings of $1 billion over four years.”
That $1 billion figure is also the centrepiece of Coles’ “Smarter Selling” initiative, revealed in June 2019 and billed as finding efficiencies through “technology-led stores & supply chain”
Coles and Accenture have worked together for years. A Coles statement on the deal said expanded relationship will see Accenture “invest in a joint innovation fund focused on exploring new technology applications within Coles, including the creation of roadmaps that will ensure Coles’ digital capabilities keep pace with the company’s long-term strategy, underlining Coles’ commitment to innovation and more agile ways of working.”
“The evolution of the relationship with Accenture reflects the company’s strategy to win together through genuine partnerships with suppliers,” said Coles chief information and digital officer Roger Sniezek.
“By leveraging this enhanced relationship, we will work together to build Coles’ technological capability, so we have the tools we need to inspire our customers and make life easier for our team members.”
Glenn Heppell, managing director of Accenture’s products business in Australia and New Zealand, said in a canned quote that “This represents a real strengthening of the relationship we have built with Coles, and our teams are looking forward to supporting Coles to take new ideas all the way from strategy to research and development, and finally execution.”