Coles takes next step in digital transformation

Coles has taken the next step in its ongoing digital transformation strategy, adopting global supply chain management and core finance and procurement platforms to improve product availability while enabling efficiencies in supply chain to support its Smarter Selling strategy.

Coles Group has successfully migrated its legacy core finance system to the SAP S/4HANA platform, improving the speed and stability of Coles’ financial systems. This has also enabled the deployment of the SAP Ariba procurement solution.

The combination of SAP Ariba and S/4HANA will enable significant cost savings in procurement by centralising management of purchasing for goods not for resale, allowing for consolidation of suppliers and improved trading terms.

Coles Chief Financial Officer Leah Weckert said the implementation of the two SAP platforms was an important milestone in the continued modernisation of Coles’ systems, which would enable the delivery of future transformation projects and support ongoing improvement in business processes.

“We had a very ambitious five-month timeline to implement SAP S/4HANA and we adopted a very innovative implementation approach with specialist partner Acclimation, utilising a toolset from SNP. This was a remarkable collaboration between the finance and technology teams,” she said.

“SAP Ariba was also implemented at pace and is fundamentally changing how Coles purchases goods not for resale right across the business. It’s a foundational part of our Smarter Selling strategy.”

Coles Executive General Manager Operations and Transformation Kevin Gunn said new platform would enable real time visibility of international stock.

“Availability is a key issue for customers and some popular items, such as light globes, herbs and spices and kitchen essentials like foil and garbage bags, cannot be sourced domestically so we need to look to international suppliers,” he said.

“By understanding where our stock is while in transit, we can better plan our stock movements to enhance availability for customers and reduce the time taken to move products into our stores, improving our use of working capital by reducing the time inventory spends in our supply chain.

“It will also support improved efficiencies through the supply chain by minimising the need to move stock between states, resulting in fewer truck movements which will also improve road safety and reduce carbon emissions.”

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