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Right product, right place, right time - every time

Marks & Spencer partnered with TCS to help transform their business operations and provide a digital solution to optimize space, range, and display (SRD) operational capabilities to address their UK GSCOP (Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice) ranking and improve return on store space.

“We had a lot of complexity built in, building a huge number of planograms to support our stores to try and keep things simple for our colleagues. At the same time, we weren't able to offer a tailored range to each of our stores and our customers. So, the need to transform was building over several years,” says James Clifton, Head of SRD at M&S

The objective was to create store-specific range and planograms without compromising profitability and customer choice.  There was also a recognition that M&S Food stores needed more than a standard offer in every location if the company was going to meet the diverse needs of the communities it serves.

“We faced a number of challenges when we began our transformation,” says Rob Barnes, Chief Technology Officer, Food and Retail at M&S. “It was clear we were underinvested in some really critical technology, and we hadn't modernised our processes so that we remained competitive with the rest of the market.”



Marks & Spencer optimises space, range & display enabled by intelligent digital solution to become a true customer centric retailer

The new business processes and Blueyonder category management solution implemented by TCS in partnership with M&S provides a nextGen space, range and display platform, which enables the company to execute data-driven strategy decisions and position the business well on the way to becoming a digital-first retailer.

Seamlessly integrated business processes across supply chain, stores and merchandising

TCS used Microsoft’s Azure Databricks technology to build a platform that gives M&S a complete view of its product line to inform systems operations and planning. The underlying principle was to enable data-driven decision support using out-of-the-box capabilities in the Blue Yonder Category Manager suite, eliminating numerous complex customisations.

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Benefits from Day 1

“We now have a range that is accurate at all times,” says James Clifton. “The integration with our supply chain system and the building of the new range solution really means that there is no delay, no lag between the planogram and the range that we're putting into the supply chain systems.”

Clifton attributes the success of the SRD implementation to the teams’ collaborative operating approach, based on shared values and beliefs. “All we got from day one was benefits from the system,” he says, adding, “that doesn't come by accident. It comes from two great teams working together very effectively to deliver a programme.”

“Our relationship with TCS is going to be critical in navigating some of the significant investments and further transformations across our operating model. Most importantly, TCS is going to be absolutely vital to the work we do in our stores to create the best experience for our colleagues and our customers,” says Barnes.