Accenture and SAP Prop Coles’ “Smarter Selling”

Coles, Accenture and SAP

Accenture and SAP have been long-standing partners helping businesses transform digitally through the deployment of SAP products and services. For instance, they have worked together in developing extended materials requirements planning (MRP) solutions based on SAP S/4HANA to optimise manufacturing industry ROI through more responsive, real-time digital supply chains that both improve materials flow and reduce costs.

Accenture and SAP are partnering and co-innovating again, this time, for Coles to drive the retail supergiant’s  “Smarter Selling” strategy. Accenture won Coles’ four-year transformation deal to facilitate SAP deployment, help adopt Microsoft technologies and other tech-related elements needed in the process.

Steven Cain, Coles CEO, 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.”

Accenture leads the implementation of SAP systems for procurement, human resources, and finance for Coles. In the “Smarter Selling” transformation, Coles will adopt SAP products such as SAP S4/Hana, the SAP Ariba procurement product and SAP Success Factors career and performance management suite.

Alongside with SAP, Witron and Ocado will also be critical partners in this Accenture-Coles venture as announced in June last year.

Earlier in July, Coles announced that Azure is the company’s cloud of choice and revealed its plans to migrate apps into Microsoft’s cloud. Certainly, Accenture leverages its global strategic relationship with Microsoft in helping Coles deliver simpler, more efficient, and robust operations.

Apart from supporting key digital and technology development initiatives, Accenture is also tasked to work with global automation experts Witron and Ocado in the modernisation of the Coles’ supply chain, including enhancing the customer’s online shopping experience.

According to Cain, the partnership with Accenture is expected to deliver cumulative cost savings of $1 billion over the four-year transformation period. In June 2019, the “Smarter Selling” initiative was revealed and billed as finding efficiencies through “technology-led stores & supply chain”.

Just like the distinguishable working relationship of Accenture and SAP, Accenture and Coles have also worked together for several years now.

In a statement made by the grocery and supermarket giant regarding the deal with Accenture, it said that the expanded relationship with the consulting firm encourages investment in a joint innovation fund. It will be focused on exploring new technology applications within Coles such as the creation of roadmaps. This ensures Coles’ digital capabilities are in pace with the company’s long-term strategy and commitment to innovation and more agile ways of working.

Roger Sniezek, Coles’ Chief Information and Digital Officer, stated:

“Accenture is a leading business partner for SAP, and widely recognised for their expertise in implementing their solutions in large organisations.”

Sniezek explained that Accenture and Coles’ evolving relationship reflects the retailer’s strategy to win together through genuine partnerships with suppliers. In the same manner, the partnership enables Coles to build its technological capability with tools to inspire its customers and make life easier for its team members.

“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,” he added.

Similarly, Glenn Heppell, Managing Director of Accenture’s Products Business in Australia and New Zealand, said:

“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.”

Accenture and SAP’s trusted partnership extends more than 40 years revolutionizing the future of business across many industries, adding the “Smarter Selling” initiative of Coles to its roster of successful undertakings.

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