Home' FMCG Business : FMCG FEB 2017 Contents [ leaders forum ]
“IT ALWAYS seems impossible until it’s done.” This is a mantra from
Nelson Mandela which rings true for us. 2016 was hugely exciting and
challenging with earthquakes, new stores, technology, strong growth
and increasingly happy customers – who value many of the things we
are doing to enhance their shopping experience. The work we put in
last year has us set up for a strong run at 2017.
I have been in the Foodstuffs North Island (FSNI), CEO role now for
17 months and it’s been at pace with 214 store visits, 37 Distribution
Centre Roadshows, 12 Board Meetings, 11 Owner-Operator meetings
and supporting the team and owner to build a supermarket in 24
hours in response to the November 16 earthquakes. This business is
fast, complex, competitive, fun and strategic.
One of Foodstuffs’ key advantages is the co-operative structure
where the intensity of our owner operator execution and the
strength and focus of the multiple brands come into play. There is
absolutely no risk of average things gaining any traction in a co-op as
the system simply rejects them.
In a year which is likely to promise local and global turmoil –
namely a general election, US government and technology change,
speculation around new market entrants and housing market
pressures – I am confident our co-op model is a strong foundation
for driving innovation, excellence and relevance to New Zealand
shoppers. Our unique operation affords us a relationship with the
customer that is second to none – our owners must succeed with
their local community every single day.
For FSNI 2017 is all about more delivery of value from the changes
already underway. 2016 saw the implementation of SAP, new stores,
award-winning consumer promotions, and a new loyalty programme
now we need to land the benefits.
Our success can only be delivered by unleashing people’s potential
with everyone willing to challenge and contribute, as well each
knowing how their role connects to the strategy, meaningfully. Like
many businesses we are focusing on agility, clever use of data and
technology and opening the organisation up to creative thinking – all
driven by our customers and members.
The shopper has more information than ever to make decisions.
We now have a 24/7 dialogue thanks to social media which keeps
us and our suppliers on our toes. This operates with our new loyalty
programme and research which enable us to know even more about
what our shoppers need and how they respond to our product and
New World Clubcard launched at FSNI in mid-2016 and only 24
hours after mailing out new cards 170,000 customers had already
swiped their cards. Combine this with SAP and we’re an increasingly
smart retailer able to service customers with an incredible level of
knowledge, driven by customer insights.
Another role as Chairman of Icehouse lends me the opportunity to
engage with many New Zealand businesses on the cusp of greatness.
For them, and equally for a business like ours, there are some
principles to live by that help us get ahead:
Truly know what your customers value
Big aspirations must be backed up with great execution
New Zealanders love brands that are genuine
When things go wrong show humility and a real commitment to
Be relevant to every valuable future segment
Base decisions on fact and customer insights.
As we move through 2017, I see my responsibility to keep looking
at everything with fresh eyes, and to challenge all that we do to make
sure our customers get more out of life.
Chris joined FSNI as CEO in September 2015 and is now immersed in
the unique world of grocery. Prior to joining Foodstuffs Chris was CEO
of Spark Home, Mobile and Business and led the business through the
very successful rebrand from Telecom to Spark. He held several other
leadership roles at Spark and Gen-i Australasia (now Spark Digital)
receiving in 2010 an Emerging Leader Award at the annual Sir Peter
Blake Leadership Awards and the Chairman’s Award at the TUANZ
To wrap up, my topline predictions for 2017 and beyond
centre on a few key trends:
Growth in new formats and enhanced adjacency to
service customers faster
Wellness is a priority for an aging population, as are
provenance and sustainability
Expansion of international products for an
increasingly diverse customer demographic
And, both premium and value-led options need to
develop to cater to customers’ differing needs.
Foodstuffs North Island
12 FMCG BUSINESS - FEBRUARY 2017
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