Coles has signed a strategic partnership with Microsoft to use cloud-based technology to transform shopping for customers, make life easier for workers and improve productivity across the business.
This is the latest in a series of global partnerships and developments through which Coles is building its technology and digital capability.
The long-term strategic partnership is founded on Microsoft Azure becoming Coles’ cloud platform, which will enable Coles to drive simplicity and efficiency in its operations by migrating its applications to Azure.
Together with Microsoft, Coles is building an enterprise data platform in Azure that will power advanced analytics across Coles and enable the rapid deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to drive innovation in physical stores and through the supply chain.
The use of Azure AI services will improve Coles’ ability to use a variety of customer data to drive decision making and better tailor its range to meet the needs of customers and how they like to shop. These decisions will be based on deeper data analysis from its proprietary research, Flybuys and customer transactions.
In addition to more personalised customer service, a key part of Coles’ Smarter Selling strategy is in its stores, where workers will be provided with a range of new tools that will transform how they work, such as removing manual tasks for repetitive activities like stock management and price markdowns. These changes are designed to boost productivity and allow them to focus on the things that matter most to customers.
Coles’ technology and digital capability
Recent announcements from Coles have included:
Oct 5, 2018: Two new ambient automated distribution centres to be built by German automation specialist Witron as part of the modernisation of Coles’ supply chain.
Feb 12, 2019: Coles implementing SAP systems to transform store support functions in the areas of HR, indirect procurement and financial reporting.
Mar 1, 2019: Coles partners with Optus to rollout a high-speed network, driving store efficiencies and innovation.
Mar 26, 2019: Coles enters partnership with Ocado to bring its online grocery platform, automated fulfilment and home delivery to Australia.