How to Successfully Lead a Digital Transformation

Written by Craig Saxby on Apr 17, 2018

Leading a Digital Transformation- Case Study: Part 1

graham newland.jpg

In the current war for talent it can be challenging to entice the best business leaders into your organisation.  

This is when many of our clients turn to external partners like ourselves (executive search or interim consultancies) to gain competitive advantage in sourcing top talent. These leaders will be specialist experts with a proven track record in supporting businesses to overcome their challenges.  

When investing both time and money into sourcing top talent, it is crucial you get it right. Or you run the risk of both falling behind on crucial/ time sensitive projects and wasting costly resources.  

How do you overcome this challenge?

At EO Executives, we partner with candidates who are typically placed into organisations to implement change and transformation projects at a large scale. These candidates are hired based on their technical skills, extensive experience and strong reputation.

EO were recently engaged by one of the fastest growing and innovative e-commerce service providers, who urgently required an Interim Transformation and Programme Director. 

The candidate needed to have the gravitas to work with the Chief Executive Officer, and support him in achieving a company-wide transformation. This was a crucial hire as none of the existing executive team had previous experience or knowledge of such activity.

The Approach

Experienced Transformation Director, Graham Newland was the candidate chosen for the role. Due to his exceptional track record in transforming organisations and building businesses to achieve sustained profitable growth in digital commerce, multi and omni-channel retail, supply chain, technology markets and programme delivery. A well rounded and highly relevant profile.  

Graham is a senior executive who has been leading applications software and related-services businesses in the Supply Chain, Cloud and Retail businesses globally and across EMEA & Asia-Pacific for over 20 years. He has led three companies to global market leadership in both the retail and supply chain software arenas. This success has been enabled by Graham’s strong leadership, his clear vision and planning, target sales and market focus Along with a passion for delivering great customer experience  and the ability to motivate and grow talent to achieve greater performances. 

The challenge

Graham was hired to lead a major company-wide retail and digital transformation for a high-end retail business in the USA, whilst increasing the revenues of the UK based retail e-commerce provider by 500%. 

They needed a 'hands-on' Programme Portfolio Director to assist in the full delivery, client uptake and on boarding support of a new platform for a major client and its partners. Therefore, requiring a single point of contact, who would take ownership of this major project in the UK and US. 

The client was seeking an individual who had a good background of taking ownership of large scale, multi-faceted programmes involving many software and integration project teams, sales team, support team and client collaboration in UK and internationally.  

It was unquestionable that Graham had previous experience in increasing both business growth across multiple site, and solely leading critical transformation projects 

The Aim

The aim was to enable the business to grow its online e-commerce business by double the existing rate of growth to over 30% p.a., and revenues of over $1bn p.a.- largely from fashion goods and luxury goods. This would be achieved by (a) being quicker to market for new items (b) tailoring promotional campaigns and pricing to the most valuable consumer segments and products (c) more reliable, lower cost, and quicker order fulfilment for consumers and (d) gathering consumer buying behaviour to help merchandise and personalise marketing to enable sustained growth and success, as well as growing consumer loyalty. 

The Solution? 

The solution was to manage the delivery of four new digital trading e-commerce software applications/ products  providing new retail e-commerce solutions for the client and their leading 453 fashion and luxury goods suppliers. Using a vendor to consumer order fulfilment operating model and have this working and meeting contracted SLA's within 6 months from December 2016. 

The Success 

Within a 5 month period the new product development was delivered using agile techniques, taken from an initial concept through to the final delivery of the product.

The new digital products included:

  • Customer/buying analytics.
  • A merchandising workbench for new product introduction and a digital catalogue.
  • Consumer order tracking.
  • Supplier notifications, purchasing and invoicing.

The new products and associated e-commerce network met all functional, performance, volume, integrity, and quality KPI's contracted in the first two months of service. This enabled the full contract to be implemented to all suppliers. 

To find out more on this huge digital transformation assignment, stay tuned for part two.

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