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Commercial Function Review

Client Coles
Region Australia
Sector Retail and Consumer Goods

The Challenge

We were engaged by the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and the GM HR Business Partner for Commercial to establish an evidence-based view of the types of activity and time/resource investment put towards these activities across the Commercial function, of approximately 600 people. This is in the context of the broader business looking to achieve efficiency and cost-out targets identified in the three year strategy, whilst simultaneously delivering top-line growth.

Coles was eager to build a robust baseline through which they could: (a) gain an objective view on the current size, make-up and performance of the Commercial function; (b) inform how best to structure teams and where to invest (headcount & cost) vs strategic objectives, and (c) identify any duplication of work.

Our Approach

This was conducted over a 12-week period, over two phases: (1) Discovery, and (2)(a) Baseline & Diagnostic, (b) Analyse Baseline & Hypothesis, and (c) Organisational Recommendations & Next Steps. The following were the deliverables:

  1. Baseline framework, populated with Financial, People, Activity and Category Performance data
  2. A short Diagnostic Report, summarising interview and focus group findings, including an agreed set of hypothesis to be tested in the dynamic modelling / scenario testing
  3. The Baseline Framework handed over with instructions that allows the Coles team to continue to use and maintain the Framework
  4. A Final Report that includes: (i) findings and insights generated from the dynamic modelling, (ii) Organisational considerations and recommendations based on the diagnostic report, baseline framework and dynamic modelling, and (iii) a proposed roadmap of activity, based on the recommendations


Key Outcomes

  • Our work identified:
  • The true number of FTE dedicating time towards strategic initiatives/projects
  • Comparing time spent on strategic vs administrative tasks across the entire function
  • Assessing alignment of FTE across category growth targets (i.e. seniority and size of team compared with target growth categories)
  • Comparison of product churn and new product development across each category
  • Amount of time spent collaborating and coordinating with other functions across the business
  • Furthermore, the business was provided with a baseline framework, with supporting documentation and instructions to perform the baseline themselves going forward.
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