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Case Study

Coles Group – Procurement & Contractor (P&C) management review

Completed 2016


Coles Group, one of Australia’s largest retailers was interested in how procurement and contracting process across its organisation performed as it engaged many contractors that worked independently of any contract or project manager.

The Challenge

Coles knew they were procuring in different ways across the group and that the inconsistency had the potential to introduce risks they weren’t aware of. These inconsistencies in OHS management in procurement and contracting could also put key licences at risk.

Project Goals

  • Analyse the issue across operations, looking at both front-line (shopfront) and behind-the-scenes contractors.
  • Put together a redesigned program to provide a deep-dive of critical risk areas.
  • Identify issues with P&C.
  • Target improvement messages at senior leaders who didn’t have mature OHS knowledge to understand how the risks emerge and how they impact the organisation.

The Insight

The current assurance programs didn’t appear to be offering great value as they addressed only a very small part of risks associated with contractors. They were essentially too broad and too shallow to identify any material issues.

With our in-depth knowledge and long-standing relationship with Coles, we were able to understand where internal resources were available to improve P&C. We also leveraged our knowledge of best-practice P&C systems for OHS management, current systems and risk across the retailer’s operations, and the licence requirements that needed to be maintained.

The Solution

We recommended various improvements to procurement & contractor systems to ensure:

  • Consistency when evaluating contractor OHS capability and performance.
  • Improved contractor supervisor and monitoring arrangements.
  • Greater guidance for those managing high-risk contracts.
  • Better use of resources based on the level of risk.