Coles has signed a long-term agreement with global digital and technology services provider Accenture.
According to the supermarket chain, this agreement will support the roll out of new technology that will help Coles deliver cumulative cost savings of $1 billion over four years.
The agreement follows Coles’ recent announcement of a strategic partnership with Microsoft.
“We have committed to being technology-led in our stores and throughout our supply chain to reduce costs while delivering an even better shopping experience for customers and making life easier for our team members,” Coles Chief Executive Officer Steven Cain said.
“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.”
The evolution of the relationship
Coles says that the new agreement builds on the supermarket’s long-standing relationship with Accenture. This has seen the two companies work together on “transformational technology projects”. It has also delivered ongoing development and support of core merchandise, supply chain, and in-store systems.
As part of the expanded relationship, Accenture will invest in a joint innovation fund focused on exploring new technology applications within Coles. This includes 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,” Coles Chief Information and Digital Officer Roger Sniezek said.
“Accenture is a global leader in the digital space and in working together over the past years across a wide range of areas of Coles Group, we have each come to understand each other’s businesses, strengths, and ways of working.
“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.”
Further initiatives and plans
The deal will also give Coles access to Accenture’s leading technology experts across their global network. This spans more than 40 industries and all business functions.
Mr Sniezek says Accenture will also support the implementation of SAP solutions across procurement, human resources and finance.
“Accenture has a strong track record of transformational technology within partner businesses around the globe, including some of the world’s biggest and most successful retailers. This will really assist us in executing at pace,” he said.
“Accenture is a leading business partner for SAP, and widely recognised for their expertise in implementing their solutions in large organisations. Coles will be able to work with Accenture’s leading global experts to ensure that our innovation and digitalisation strategy is informed and accelerated by a wealth of experience.”
Glenn Heppell, Managing Director of Accenture’s Products business in Australia and New Zealand says he is “delighted” to be working with Coles on the next horizon of digital transformation.
“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,” he said.