Coles Group has signed a long-term agreement with Accenture to support the rollout of new technology that will help achieve cumulative cost savings of $1 billion over four years.
The agreement follows Coles’ recent announcement of a strategic partnership with global technology leader Microsoft to accelerate its digital transformation, using cloud-based innovation to transform the shopping experience for customers, make life easier for team members, and improve productivity across the business.
Accenture has delivered more than 35,000 Microsoft projects for more than 4,000 clients around the world and has a global strategic relationship with Microsoft that will be leveraged to help Coles deliver simpler, more efficient, and robust operations.
Also, Accenture will 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.
“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 CEO Steven Cain said.
Coles last month revealed plans to accelerate its use of technology as part of its Smarter Selling initiative. This will will include increased automation of manual tasks both in stores and in support functions, faster checkouts, using artificial intelligence for quicker and more accurate stock ordering as well as reducing energy use, and smarter planning in distribution centres to improve availability.
“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,” Cain said.
As part of the expanded relationship, Accenture will invest in a joint innovation fund focused on exploring new technology applications within Coles.