Direct Product Sourcing

Company Profile 


An international home improvement company with approximately 1,500 stores, supported by a team of over 80,000 colleagues. Operate in eight countries across Europe offering home improvement products and services to consumers and trade professionals who shop in our stores and via our e-commerce channels.  

CEO’s Mission 


The Group CEO identified that the company needed to leverage its scale to grow revenue and increase profit. This required the development of new product brands and the ability to significantly increase the volume of products purchased directly from the global manufacturing base. Invested in growing the direct sourcing teams who are based close to the global manufacturing base and implementing new technology to support the growth. 

An experienced Senior IT leader was appointed to support the board, define business requirements, select suitable systems and implement them across 8 retail brands and 5 overseas sourcing offices. 

Programme Director Objectives 


  • Work with the business leaders to identify requirements, priorities and business case 
  • Execute the programme ensuring business and IT requirements are delivered.  
  • Enable an increase in direct sourcing purchasing from £200M to £1BN 
  • Improve lead times and end-to-end visibility of the full supply chain 

What the Associate did 


Worked with business leadership, manufacturers, factories, quality and logistics partners to identify requirements and the business changes required to deliver value. Produced a fully costed business case which was approved by the board.  


Executed the programme  


  • Selected IT software to meet business requirements for the agreed business processes 
  • Product owner for the system selling the benefits to each operating company who were initially sceptical of its value 
  • Led and mentored a programme team which implemented the system across the group 
  • Managed an offshore partner to develop the system 
  • Managed internal architects and infrastructure teams to size and build the system 
  • Worked closely with all businesses to scope, test and go live with the system.   
  • Measured success and implemented continuous improvement for the process and system 



The Results 


  • Successfully secured the investment to support growth 
  • Standardised processes and system across 13 businesses 
  • Increased direct purchasing from £200M to £1.2BN in 3 years 
  • Margins increased by 20% as a result of Direct Sourcing 
  • Reduced lead times from Asia to the EU warehouse by 25% 
  • Full visibility and control of the end-to-end supply chain 
  • Maintained customer satisfaction during the project lifecycle 



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