With over 11 million shoppers per week and over 8 million members, Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer-owned co-operatives and has an outlet in every UK postcode. Along with its shops and charitable activities, Co-op operates a major insurance business, a legal practice, an online electricals business and is the UK’s biggest funeral provider.
As it looked to modernise its supply chain process and implement SAP, Co-op decided it was best to run it with Microsoft Azure. The company sought to use Azure’s intelligent learning and data analytics to gain customer insight and deliver a better in-store experience. For example, Power BI enables the company to identify patterns and trends in local behaviour, such as differences between shoppers in small villages and London.
According to Co-op Head of Supply and Supplier Relationship Management Bob Marchant: “Running our SAP system in Azure gives us the ability to say very, very accurately which products make the most profit for a given store layout in a given location.”
The impact on customer experience, a result of being able to stock the right products at the right times, has a positive impact on profits. Marchant says: “The more profit we make, the more we can give more back to the communities and that really benefits everybody. We’ve estimated the increased efficiencies will save £58 million by 2022.”
Co-op has Intelligent Cloud on a pay-as-you-go basis, giving it agility and flexibility, as well as cost efficiency. This gives Co-op’s team more time to focus on customer service and retail innovation. Hosting SAP on Azure also means that all security and maintenance of the infrastructure are handled by Microsoft.
Marchant says: “Microsoft gives us ease of management, security, analysis, monitoring and reporting, so overall the experience for everybody is significantly better. Through our partnership with Microsoft, we've got a really clear strategy for the future; it’s a hugely exciting time.”