Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest grocery retailer, is undergoing a large scale implementation of end-to-end Oracle Retail solutions to streamline and improve its vertically integrated business from manufacturing through to store.
In this video, Adam Coy and Stuart Rowlings detail the process behind the selection of Oracle, the strategy taken around implementation and securing business support for the project. They also discuss the benefits Morrisons is starting to see throughout the supply chain including increased forecast accuracy, which is allowing users to focus on areas that provide value-add, such as promotions and pricing. Ultimately, Oracle Retail solutions are providing Morrisons with a single version of data and a more sophisticated system to manage its supply chain.
Adam and Stuart also reference the role the strong partnership with Oracle has played in the project success, particularly the support of Oracle Retail Consulting.
We were very priviledged recently to speak to Jorge Delgado - Director of Supply Chain at Spanish convenience store group DinoSol - about how the business is using Oracle Retail applications to improve their supply chain planning and management. Jorge also discusses the technology challenges facing a large-scale European grocer.
Recently we attended the Retail Week Conference at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel in London. The conference proves to be an inspirational meeting of retail minds and the insight gained from both the speakers and the other delegates is invaluable.
In particular we enjoyed hearing from Charlie Mayfield, Chairman at John Lewis Partnership, about understanding how the consumer is viewing the ever changing world of retail; a session on how to encourage brand-loyal multichannel activities from Robin Terrell of House of Fraser with Alan White of the N Brown Group, Vince Russell from The Cloud and Lucy Neville-Rolfe from Tesco; and a fascinating session from Tim Steiner, Chief Executive of Ocado, about how the business makes it as easy as possible for consumers to shop on their various platforms, which included some surprising usage statistics.
Oracle's own Vice President of Retail, Paul Dickson, also held a session with Richard Pennycook, Group Finance Director at Morrisons, about the role of technology in accelerating and supporting the business strategy. Morrisons' 'Evolve' programme takes a litte-and-often approach to updating its technology infrastructure to spread cost and keep the adoption process gentle for staff, and the session explored how the process works and how Oracle's technology underpins the programme to optimise their operations using actionable insight.
We had a quick chat with Paul Dickson at the session to get his thoughts on the programme - the video is below. We also filmed the whole presentation, so keep checking back on this blog if you're interested in seeing it.
So much happens at the Oracle Retail Week Awards that it is often difficult to take it all in on the night. Yesterday, I found myself recalling Sir Ken Morrison's comments about Sir Terry Leahy, and in particular, his description of Leahy as "the greatest businessman of the late 20th and early 21st century" as he presented him with the Retail Week Lifetime Achievement Award.
This is a big statement. There is no denying Leahy's achievements at Tesco, the legacy he leaves behind and also the impact this has created around the world. Sir Ken referenced the Clubcard as one of the key successes of the era and indeed Leahy himself sees this initiative as the enabling factor that drove the customer to the heart of the Tesco business. Developed while Leahy was Marketing Director, Clubcard has been influential in maintaining Tesco's stance in the number one position and has been copied to less effect throughout the world.
Another element of Leahy's legacy that stands out for me is the retailer's impressive international expansion, with the Tesco Operating Model at its foundation. By no means is this a unique offering - several retail organisations utilise a common set of technologies and applications upon which they manage their businesses. However, the Tesco approach has been to be very specific in identifying the very best set of solutions for particular aspects of their business. Tesco worked hard to create a model that was able to work locally from Turkey to Thailand. Much has been made of Tesco's ability to identify emerging markets and develop the Tesco concept successfully within these countries but the Tesco Operating Model is a key element of this success. If you don't get the HQ, DCs and stores working effectively, your business will fail. If you can't get the right product to the customer at the right time, you lose a sale and sometimes that customer's business. Serving a global customer demands a business to have truly global process and technology.
Leahy's successor, Philip Clarke in his previous role as IT and International Director was influential in ensuring that the Tesco Operating Model was implemented to great effect. It will be interesting to see over time how retail businesses seek to copy the Operating Model, as they have done the ClubCard. It is too soon to speculate on what Clarke's business legacy will be. Putting the customer at the heart of business is a lesson that every company can learn from Tesco. Creating a truly global business for a global customer is where Clarke's international and technology skills give him a real edge as a forward looking businessman for the 21st century.