Our client, one of the big four UK grocers, was undertaking a large scale transformation, impacting all aspects of its operating model. We worked with their Commercial Operations team to manage the impact of process and systems change on their organisation design.


  • The Commercial Operations team had been accountable for supplier and item set up and data management, dealing directly with store queries around product data, promotions and price points
  • The team’s structure was aligned to the retailer’s different formats (online, main store, convenience) and some of the same work was happening in manufacturing sites, leading to duplication of effort and inefficiencies
  • There was also a heavy reliance on contract resource which was not only adding cost but reducing productivity due to the churn of staff
  • The implementation of a new commercial operating model, including a master data system and standardised, simplified cross-functional processes, required a change to the team’s existing organisational structure and resource mix


  • We ran a series of organisation design workshops with the leadership team to develop a new structure that was a blend of function and category. Activities included:
  • Understanding what was changing (stop, start, continue)
  • Defining high level and detailed RACI based around the new processes
  • Defining headcount
  • Mapping individuals to roles
  • Sense checking ‘to-be’ structures against OD principles e.g. spans of control
  • Planning and launching the new organisation, including key communications messages
  • Some of the leadership team were impacted by the planned restructure with changes to roles and accountabilities so we worked closely with HR and the Head of Commercial Operations to ensure the process was handled sensitively and confidentially


  • We successfully transitioned to the new organisation structure
  • Achieved a 12% headcount reduction that could be realised at reduced cost through a reduction in agency resource:
  • Savings were as a result of automation, centralisation of activities across channels and within head office, outsourcing and off shoring of first line support to stores on data queries and routing 2nd line support through a helpdesk rather than to individuals