Morrisons Halfway through Business Transformation

Morrisons, the UK’s 4th largest food retailer, is 2.5 years into a five-year business transformation project, one of the largest in the world that will change almost every area of the company and the technology it uses to run its business.. With a forecast spend of approximately £310 million, the Evolve programme will significantly

The Evolve program, in which the retailer invested $512 million, which includes a total review of people, process, systems and hardware, began in 2007 and will enable Morrisons to achieve its goal of being a supermarket fit for the future. Wipro Retail has been selected as the IT partner to deliver a new operating model to support the retailer’s strategic and commercial objectives. The model is being built using Oracle’s core application suite.

The Evolve program, in turn, is part of Morrisons’ optimization plan, designed to enhance growth and improve efficiencies through the business.

“The Evolve project supports our quest to drive the top line, increase efficiency and capture growth,” saqid Richard Pennycook, Morrisons finance director.

“This was more than a systems replacement program,” added Gary Barr, Morrisons CIO. “It is a business change program enabled by the replacement of the existing IT systems, in order to support the continued and future growth of the business. The greatest challenge is that we needed to replace the systems across the entire business. The decision was taken four years ago to do a complete refresh of absolutely everything, including infrastructure, hardware, software, even email. It’s a complete replacement of every system in the business, and hence the Evolve Program was branded.”

The program will address several operational challenges Morrisons faces:

  • Morrisons had been running large mainframe solutions which had been developed in house over more than 20/30 years, which led to high level of bespoke design and legacy systems that were becoming a constraint to supporting the business and its plans for growth
  • The high cost of maintaining multiple systems that were often duplicating processes
  • Light touch systems that were stretched to their limit
  • Hugely dated technology
  • Reliance on spreadsheets, with thousands of spreadsheets a month
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