Food Wholesaler

Food Wholesaler – Board Advisory Services, Executive Alignment & Decision Making On SAP Transformation Program


The Client is a wholesale company supplying food, drink & catering equipment mainly to the restaurant & catering industry in the UK, Sweden & France. It provides merchandising, inventory management & contract logistical services to corporate, national & independent channels. This private-equity owned organisation had decided to launch a major business & IT transformation program to deliver a next generation platform to grow the business and integrate the multiple brands & business units acquired over the past 12 years. The program included an SAP driven transformation program covering business process, IT applications, infrastructure & networks.

The Challenge

  • Originally a family owned company that had grown via acquisition to a £2bn turnover
  • Although the acquired brands remained within the market-place, the acquired companies had been stitched together rather than properly integrated
  • The last 7 years had seen a previously failed business transformation program and little investment in IT
  • The business strategy sought to deliver significant growth, introduce new products & services to enable market differentiation, and innovation
  • The disparate legacy technology across the organisation was struggling to support the current operation, let alone growth – information was poor & untrustworthy

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    Searchlight Role

    • Searchlight were retained to review the business strategy and assess how IT strategy could be defined to support today and future business operation
    • Searchlight conducted a review of the IT landscape, identifying 125 initiatives to deliver incremental change
    • Searchlight’s review of internal delivery capability concluded that it was below norm due to the lack of skills
    • Searchlight ‘s analysis of operational issues highlighted an increasing trend in downtime and a shift in focus towards ‘keeping the lights on’ rather than transformation workstreams

    Value and Benefit Delivered

    • The Executive Searchlight was provided with the support they needed from us to get them ready, and to guide them through the project, using their Executive Alignment IP
    • The IT Strategy was defined and a robust road-map to introduce a common enterprise solution was developed
    • A portfolio management approach was Introduced, reprioritising the projects needing to be delivered from over 100 down to 32
    • The client team was mobilised to prepare them for the pending business transformation
    • The selection exercise for a System Integrator was conducted by us, with ongoing board advice and delivery assurance for the life of the project

    More Information

    Searchlight are experts at aligning business and IT strategy, shaping business transformation programmes and helping our clients build business and IT capability throughout the transformation journey. Contact us today to find out how our independent advice could help you grow, develop new capabilities and future-proof your organisation.


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    Searchlight TeamFood Wholesaler