Driving Digital Transformation Through A Solution-Centric Approach
About the Company
The group of companies operates 520 stores across Australia and New Zealand, has offices in Australia and around the world, and employs more than 45,000 team members, all focused on delivering products that customers love.
Call for change
The company, like many retailers, needed to engage seamlessly with their customers across all channels and touchpoints. They have been empowering their people to apply innovative, cloud-first thinking to business and customer experience solutions to enable successful digital transformation. This called for an evolution in skills and a shift in mindset.
Although, evolving into a digitally enabled and customer-led retailer has been the top priority, modernizing operations to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs remained a major challenge for them.
As the pandemic created the perfect storm to disrupt the retail landscape, the use of new technologies and the application of data to decision making became ever more important to enable the company to continue to reduce costs whilst improving the customer experience.
The company engaged ANSR to establish a Global Capability Center to enable the business priorities and to expand digital and analytics capabilities in India. Following ANSR’s location analysis, the company decided to establish the center in Bangalore - widely regarded as the leading destination for technology and data analytics skills.
Over the four years of its existence ANSR helped the GCC grow into a 250+ strong team with well-established operations supporting the group of companies.
A valuable impact
The initial focus of the GCC was securing the capabilities required to support the launch of a new IT solution for Demand and Fulfilment (D&F), modernisation of the merchandise systems, driving improvements in IT security as well as build Data & Analytics capability. But today, the GCC plays a critical role in the delivery of the group’s strategy by building globally integrated teams through a culture of innovation, adoption of emerging technologies, and driving improved productivity.
The GCC has built teams in Data Analytics, Inventory, Technology (including Corporate Systems, Stores, Digital, Cyber Security and Product), Finance, Business Excellence and People & Capability. Within two years of its inception, they quantified earnings impact of A$5.5 million across the various functions, with the Data Analytics team delivering A$2.3 million largely as a result of the work undertaken on the ‘shrinkage’ project.
The Data Analytics team also played a key role in determining the optimum markdown prices for clearance products to achieve optimal sell-through. Creation of a demand forecasting model, coupled with the use of RPA and ML to improve accuracy over time, translated into an impact of around A$11M - A$15M on revenue.
The Bangalore team has been instrumental in providing an accurate, efficient and easy to manage automated solution for the rebate process for the Finance Team. Use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – essentially a bot that can automatically do some of the work that was previously done manually by the Rebates Team- led to a 60% improvement in efficiency of the team as well as a significant improvement in accuracy.
And there was the obvious cost arbitrage. Cost of doing business was up to 40% less than operating in Australia. This low cost coupled with the access to great talent is a compelling proposition when the GCC is looking to build new capabilities.
The GCC started a Corporate Innovation programme in 2020 and conducted ~ 4 pilots and 10 experiments. One of the key outcomes of this program was the implementation of ‘FlexiPOS’ across stores in Australia & New Zealand. FlexiPOS solution keeps billing/POS (Store Front-end Operations) very simple for smoother transaction and ensures less waiting time for customers.