The Leading Edge Group has introduced changes to its operating model to respond to a changing retail market.
The Sydney-headquartered buying group streamlined the workload of its category team and introduced new specialised teams to bring in additional services for members and supply partners.
The category team will focus on its core responsibilities, moving marketing, customer service, member recruitment, operations and conferences to the newly created retail services team.
The new team includes in‐field relationship managers, a customer service team and a conferences and events team, as well as enhanced marketing, retail operations and human resources teams.
“The new model will enhance the current buying group function through improvements to the way we work and introducing additional services in marketing, retail operations, training and HR,” Leading Edge chief executive Struan Abernethy said.
“First and foremost, we needed to break down the silos that we had within the business to enable our category team to focus on their core buying group responsibility and bring in experts to deliver these additional services.”
The changes follow an 18-month review aimed to assess whether the buying model provided the best value and support to Leading Edge’s retailers and partners.
The findings showed that a wider range of support to members and partners were needed to succeed in the current retail environment, specifically in response to competition from other brick and mortar or online retailers, delivering an effective digital strategy, margin pressures, driving in-store traffic and meeting the demands of running a small business.
“The category team now has the one and only focus of developing beneficial buying relationships between our members and supply partners,” Abernethy said.
“We are confident that by challenging the traditional Buying Group model we will deliver substantial benefits to both our members and supply partners.”
Leading Edge Group incorporates a number of business verticles, including Leading Edge Computers, and businesses in appliances, electronics, auto-electrical, digital cameras, phone repairs, jewellery, books and entertainment.