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Retail is a burning platform… grab the digital lifeline or perish!

Featured article by Julian Grindey

Retail profits are shrinking*; COVID-forced closures, the impact of disruptive competition and escalating wage, property and supply chain overheads are all taking their toll. Traditional retail is adjusting to its younger digital native competitor who have never been constrained by space, location or legacy mindset.

Herald the Digital Transformation.

Successful transformations require bravery and it’s often lacking until the last resort. These changes are wholescale, fusing data and new technologies throughout the business to grow sales and profit. Delivered well, a transformation can return/ propel a retailer towards profitable growth. Delivered badly and they leave deep scars to leadership, culture, finances and stakeholder trust.

To this point Digital Transformations often failed to deliver real value creation because those driving change lacked conviction. They were too limited in their approach and scope.

Applying the lessons from the early adopters will unlock incredible value across three areas…

Customer:
Digital brings customer and product development closer together; drawing upon multi-origin data to produce behaviour and trend insights to make better buying decisions that will help to acquire and retain customers and maximise life-time value. Sales and profit upturn can be gained quickly.

Speed to Market:
End-to-end digital transformation can compress the calendar by upto 40%** Technology tools can improve; communication, reduce waste, improve controls, and speed up supply chain through the workflow process of product development. The proposition will be more relevant than ever before.

Next level Efficiency:
Standardised workflows and automated processes free people to focus on the value-creating activities they do best – focusing on the key assets of Stock, Cash, labour and space then applying tech and data to improve productivity.
The Trading division is a great place to kick start. Working capital efficiency improvement is at the heart of great retailers. Transforming a product journey from end-to-end through the supply chain attracts follow-on actions throughout the business.

Success hinges on how well you manage five key elements…

A ‘future-fit’ team:

  • People are critical to transformation and purpose is critical to people. The best leaders articulate purpose encouraging their followers to devise the process steps and actions
  • Re-structuring and re-skilling; make brave decisions where success would be compromised, be fair and clear and the team will accept
  • Draft support; external partners play an important role in, aligning change, agile problem-solving, keeping momentum, supplementing effort, and managing stakeholders

The new target operating model (TOM):

  • The blueprint that translates purpose and strategy into actions, structures, and processes
  • It addresses current inefficiencies, improves customer centricity and improves process with digital and technical innovation at its core
  • The model is clearly detailed reference map that should be referred to regularly along the change journey

The scale of change:

  • It must be value creating to customer and business. Product divisions work well here
  • A meaningful chunk of the business from end-to-end
  • Don’t try to separate and pilot test you have to ‘go all in’ in-order to reap the rewards
  • Be prepared to refine from real time learnings. Be agile and flexible but stick to the plan

Impeccable master data:

  • Quality data is the foundation of any transformation. Quality decisioning relies upon it
  • This is a business challenge, automate as much as possible to help ensure it’s accurate, complete, timely and relevant
  • Design data to be easy to enter by a team who realise its importance with controls for quality and consistency

Phased implementation:

  • Simplify the change effort by breaking it down into discrete phases that will demonstrate progress that can be celebrated and help you to sustain progress
  • Start with quick wins and built outwards from their- don’t try for a ‘big bang’
  • Think; agile, sprints, test and learn, and watch for change fatigue

A solid and scalable tech stack:

  • For your technology to be up to the job it needs to be flexible, modular and scalable
  • Establish a single data source for product, customer and process
  • Develop the tech skills and recruit the best talent to secure expertise

Digital transformation draws upon a complex mix of; strategic vision, resource planning, change skills, support, communication, training, and controls. Stamina, tenacity and resilience. Managed effectively and the business can secure its market position.

‘Fortune favours the brave’ – you cannot afford to hold back now! Grab the digital lifeline before it’s too late.

Source:

*O. C. & C. Report; Global retail Trends EBITDA 2019
**B.C.G. research, published Jan 2020

Julian Grindey

Julian Grindey is an energising and inspirational MD/COO/Trading Director, skilled in leading profitable change and transformation, inspiring strategic vision and commercial delivery and in driving retail and digital growth.

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Denholm are delighted to be working exclusively with Loch Lomond Group; one of the most exciting and fast-growing global spirits companies in the country. To assist with their growth ambitions, they are looking to recruit a commercially astute and strategic marketer to join their team in a newly created role, as Head of Whisky Marketing.

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The Loch Lomond Group are seeking a commercially-savvy Sponsorship and Events Manager to join the marketing team.

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The Sponsorship & Events Manager is a key role in the business. We are looking for a dynamic, entrepreneurial and driven professional who has an understanding of how to build brand advocacy through sponsorship and events. You will ideally come from a marketing and sponsorship background in spirits or have a passion and understanding of the category and its nuances.

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You’ll be a skilled communicator, interested and knowledgeable about the key issues shaping the external environment. In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • 7+ years of senior leadership experience within an agency or consultancy
  • Outstanding writing skills and the ability to engage and excite an audience
  • An impressive track record of client attraction, retention and growth
  • The ability to thrive fast-paced environment managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong influencing and leadership skills to motivate and inspire those around you
  • Excellent planning, evaluation and project management skills
  • To develop new processes, systems and ways of working to drive performance

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We’re a passionate and professional team who thrive in issue-rich environment and we’re looking for several Communication Advisors to join our fast-growing team. You’ll have previous agency experience at Account Manager level and be passionate about delivering excellent results for clients.

You might be a specialist in PR and media relations who produces compelling editorial content across a range of topics and sectors. Your expertise might lie in marketing, creative projects and digital content, turning bright ideas into impactful campaigns. Or you might be a public affairs expert who understands the policy landscape and helps clients build influential relationships.

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Your key duties will include:

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You’ll be a skilled communicator, interested and knowledgeable about the key issues shaping the external environment. In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

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