Client: UK’s fastest-growing and largest homeware retailer

Few organisations have enjoyed the unrivalled success as this organisation, whilst maintaining its roots and culture as a business that is wholly owned by its founder.

In a market that is full of established competition, our client maintains its unprecedented UK and international growth and remains the largest high-street and online homeware retailer in the UK. In fact, they weathered the storm of the Coronavirus Pandemic thrived over 2020. 2021 onwards looks even more exciting. Further international growth; a widening homeware proposition and a closer partnership with one of the UK’s leading supermarkets means its platform for future growth is becoming firmer by the day. However, rapid growth can mean growing pain! In this case-study, read about how we helped them address their GNFR, support service and operational costs, ensuring that their solid sales proposition was complemented with a robust and fit for purpose supply-chain.

The Challenge

A huge success in sales and a rapid expansion programme had focussed attention on Goods For Retail and facilitating the growth programme. Little focus had been placed on its GNFR costs and supply-chain.

Our client wanted a greater focus on managing operating costs and consistency in service delivery but did not have the appetite to invest in headcount to lead this. In short, they wanted a rapid and focussed programme to tackle this challenge, that would deliver quickly and with minimum disruption to their business.

They reached out to us as they wanted a partner who could demonstrate a track record of delivering whole-of-business cost reduction programmes and be a cultural fit in the organisation; one which values a ‘roll your sleeves up and get it done’ approach.

The Aims

  • Rapidly identify and deliver cost-saving and consolidation opportunities.
  • Deliver match-fit supply-chains that engage with the strongest suppliers and providers.
  • Integrate with the business stakeholders whilst leading the reviews without impacting too much on their limited time.

Our Strategy

Speed, precision, and delivery were the order of the day.  We needed to learn quickly and be mindful of limited stakeholder availability. For this reason, our client needed a provider that would provide deep category knowledge and experience into their organisation.

The Oculus team all held senior and strategic roles within organisations that have faced the same challenges as our client and it was this depth of experience and category knowledge that enabled us to quickly deliver a path to real-world and practical opportunities for our client.

We undertook a series of category workshops, engaging with collegues and stakeholders across our clients business to quickly gain a deep understanding of the supply-chain, leading to a proposed range of opportunities that took the form of ‘quick wins’ through to more strategic sourcing and change opportunities.

Combining our robust practices and sourcing strategies, the experience of our team, and introducing market-leading suppliers would culminate in a fantastic result for our client.

Our Solution

The Oculus service sees us deploy our sourcing methodology into all projects. Our methodology goes to ensure that commercial tension, leverage and competitiveness are used to best effect, ultimately to achieve the best result for our client.

We led our client and its functional budget holders through a range of tenders, negotiations and sourcing projects, leading where required and support when needed, but in all areas ensuring a fantastic result through procurement expertise.

Cost and value aside, it was paramount for us to not compromise the quality of service in any way. It was also key that we ensured that any suppliers selected by the client through the procurement reviews were capable of working with the client both at present and in the future considering the clients continued growth.

The categories which the client ultimately selected for Oculus to review included:

  • IT hardware and software
  • Logistics and 3PL
  • Retail loss prevention
  • Product security
  • Stock optimisation and merchandising
  • Recruitment and operations
  • Print and Stationery
  • Print
  • Waste Management

Business Benefits

The success of this engagement can be attributed to both the commitment from our client to working with Oculus to achieve their objectives and the pedigree of the Oculus team which has been built on years of knowledge and development within both private companies and procurement consultancy environments.

Improvements in run-rate costs; reductions in total acquisition cost; and improving supplier performance through contract and specification were seen across our engagement and we were thrilled to receive great feedback mid-way from our client on what was an extremely enjoyable assignment.

“Having received glowing feedback on work completed with another client, we engaged Oculus …the review has since completed and delivered significant cost savings and service improvements whilst also consolidating several spend areas.

We were delighted with this result and decided to expand the size and scope of the Oculus engagement to include a total of 7 additional indirect category reviews. This second phase has already delivered some excellent results and we look forward to continuing our working relationship with Oculus, as we conclude this wave of reviews.”

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