Wednesday, 24 July 2019 09:35

Accenture wins big Coles contract

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Supermarket giant Coles has signed up Accenture to assist with a range of projects.

Earlier this month, Coles signed a deal with Microsoft making Azure its primary cloud platform.

The big retailer has now engaged technology services provider Accenture to support the rollout of new technology that is expected to help Coles reduce its costs by a total of $1 billion over four years.

Accenture, which had its roots in the now-defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen, has significant Microsoft expertise as well as a long-standing relationship with Coles.

The company will also assist Coles with projects around supply chain modernisation, 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," said Coles chief executive Steven Cain.

Coles' Smarter Selling aims to increase automation, accelerate checkouts, use artificial intelligence for quicker and more accurate stock ordering plus reduced 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. This is a vital part of Coles winning in its second century," said Cain.

The arrangement will see Accenture invest in a joint innovation fund focused on exploring new technology applications within Coles.

"The evolution of the relationship with Accenture reflects the company's strategy to win together through genuine partnerships with suppliers," said Coles chief information and digital officer Roger Sniezek.

"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."

Accenture ANZ managing director of products Glenn Heppell 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."

During the last nine months, Coles has announced deals with Microsoft, UK-based online supermarket Ocado, Optus, SAP, and German automation specialist Witron.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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