Coles is powering ahead with plans for a more digitally-focused future by signing a long-term agreement with global technology services company Accenture.
The partnership is part of Coles’
Smarter Selling initiative which is hoped will cut costs to the tune of $1 billion over the next four years through the rollout of new technology.
As part of the strategy the supermarket plans to increase automation of manual tasks and use artificial intelligence for quicker and more accurate stock ordering.
The supermarket giant has amped up its technology since its demerger from Wesfarmers last year, having recently announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to transform its shopping experience and improve productivity.
Accenture has a global strategic relationship with Microsoft and will work alongside the tech giant to help Coles deliver “simpler, more efficient, and robust operations”.
Accenture will also support the modernisation of Coles’ supply chain with online grocery leader Ocado, which Coles partnered with in March.
“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 chief executive Steven Cain 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,” Cain said.
As part of the expanded relationship with Accenture, the companies will invest in a joint innovation fund set up to explore 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,” Coles chief information and digital officer Roger Sniezek said.
“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,” he added.
“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 will also support the implementation of SAP solutions across procurement, human resources, and finance at Coles.