Few retailers have tackled the financial uncertainties of the digital era with the flourish of Sainsbury’s. In addition to streamlining its tech supplier roster by 70%, the U.K. retailer has saved tens of millions and improved customer-facing performance on the year’s busiest shopping days – while growing stronger bonds with the suppliers it mutually relies on.
On Origina’s podcast, “Two Irish Guys Discussing Software,” Sainsbury’s Director of Supplier Management Andy Nagalewski sat down with Origina CEO and Founder Tomás O’Leary and SVP of Global Marketing and Thought Leadership Hari Candadai to talk about digital transformation and philosophical takeaways other businesses could adapt.
Nagalewski spoke of simplification, transparency, and mutual benefit.
“If you get the point of mutual value correct, during tough times, like what we have today, you tend to be on the right side of the coin,” he said. “When your partners are squeezed, you tend to get squeezed a little less.”
In Sainsbury’s case, that meant building a model with fewer, individually larger, and more streamlined partnerships, examining every partner’s offering in detail, and finding ways to align the U.K. retailer’s mission to the vendor’s individual needs.
This philosophy, part of Sainsbury’s ongoing Save to Invest initiative, has saved the company millions and put it in a better position to manage its IT assets in a way that suits the retailer’s forward-moving health. For instance, resources can be redirected into relationships and technology without sacrificing growth or innovation.
Covered at depth in the episode, here are a few points any business looking to budget and optimize costs in turbulent times should hear, direct from the Sainsbury’s story:
“I think it’s the transparency,” Nagalewski said. “Companies hold back on sharing their strategies with their partners. If you can build transparency and trust between you, you know you can have a difficult conversation, a [clarifying] conversation, you’ll get the most and grow overtime.”
Want to hear more insights from Sainsbury’s? Listen to the podcast, Episode 40: “Sainsbury’s Unique Supplier Program — Saving to Invest in Digital Initiatives” now.
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