Building a stronger future for Co-op
Co-op and Deloitte have a long history of working in partnership, including the design and implementation of some of Co-op's most significant projects. It is this shared commitment to make a positive difference to society, coupled with the transformative nature of Co-op’s Retail Business Transformation (RBT) programme, that inspired the Deloitte change management team on this multi-year transformation change programme.
As one of the UK’s largest food retailers, Co-op employs around 65,000 people, operates 2,600 stores, works with around 1,100 suppliers, supplies food to other UK co-operative societies and is building a growing franchise model across the UK. The RBT programme was critical to supporting Co-op’s ambitious growth strategy, spanning business, technology and workforce.
RBT is a complete end-to-end business transformation of the Co-op's Food business. The project aims to reduce food/grocery waste, simplify ways of working, create efficiency savings, streamline the system landscape, and provide a more tailored local product range to shoppers – bringing benefits to the Co-op customers and members, along with colleagues, suppliers, consumers and the environment.
Deloitte helped Co-op develop the business case and then took the role of Programme Assurance as RBT mobilised. When it became evident that there were concerns about the effectiveness of overall programme management, Deloitte provided targeted programme and change management support to strengthen implementation while the business continued to operate as normal. Deloitte played a leading role in architecting the change approach to support this programme, a role that was truly tested as the programme worked towards national roll-out shortly after the first COVID-19 lockdown
Deloitte’s change management approach aimed to enable colleagues to follow redesigned processes, adapt to automation, and adopt new skills, behaviours and ways of working – in some cases adjusting to entirely new role profiles.
The Deloitte team worked hand in hand with Co-op’s colleagues to develop their expertise in change management. This on the job experience and coaching significantly enhanced Co-op’s internal change capability and allowed them to take ownership for delivering the remaining releases with minimal Deloitte support.
Through RBT, Co-op has seen its organisation truly transformed with a future-focused technology platform. While this is reshaping its working culture, it has also provided teams with the opportunities to learn new technology skills to better adapt to a more digital future.
As well as enabling the change required for RBT to be successful, Deloitte leaves behind a significantly stronger Co-op change practice, ready to lead the retailer through its future transformation programmes.