In a dynamic e-commerce landscape, this company saw the need for a global retail logistics transformation, in order to remain competitive in delivering online retail purchases worldwide.

Company Profile

The company provides a vital service, facilitating online retail purchases from UK retailers to customers globally. Utilising integrated logistical technologies, the business adeptly manages tight deadlines while coordinating with multiple stakeholders including retailers, airlines, and local last-mile delivery partners across over 100 countries.

CEO’s Mission

After the acquisition of its European operations by a private equity consortium, the CEO recognised the necessity of fundamental changes within the business in order to achieve their goals of achieving a global retail logistics transformation. To meet new investor and governance requirements, the company required a strategic overhaul, including fresh thinking, a new direction, and enhanced processes, policies, and procedures. This was particularly challenging given the established nature of the finance team, with several members having over 25 years of service yet lacking experience in private equity-backed business requirements.

An experienced CFO was brought on board to guide the management team through these changes, tasked with conducting a needs analysis and executing identified challenging decisions, while driving the business forward.

CFO’s Objectives

  • Assume responsibility for daily business management.
  • Restructure the finance team, EDP system, legal entity structure, operations, and processes for compliance with new investor and regulatory demands.
  • Facilitate change management with minimal business and staff impact.
  • Collaborate with the CEO on initiatives for company growth.
  • Cultivate a culture of deadline management, delivery, and operational excellence.

How the CFO Executed the Objectives

Designed and Delivered a Transformational Change Roadmap

Upon reviewing the organisation, the CFO identified the need for a major restructuring as the existing team structure and processes were not suitable for future needs. A comprehensive transformational roadmap, considering employee skills and experience, was developed. The CFO effectively leveraged the team’s strengths and knowledge to gain buy-in for the change process, focusing on clear outcomes and deliverables.

Restructure of the Finance Team

A thorough analysis of the finance function, including roles, skills, and processes, was conducted. This analysis informed the blueprint for the new finance team structure, which was communicated and implemented as a priority project. The restructure involved updating organisational structure, job titles, descriptions, and role expectations.

Implementation of Changes

Simultaneously with the finance team’s reorganisation, the CFO upgraded financial processes and policies. This included bank reconciliations, creditors’ reconciliations, cash flow management, and aligning accounting policies with IFRS reporting standards, moving away from UK GAAP.

Day-to-Day Management of the Business

Throughout this period of significant change, the CFO maintained a focus on managing day-to-day business challenges, successes, and opportunities. This involved aligning and consolidating impacts across the business during its transition. The leadership team established a unified future business direction, incorporating performance and workflow management using the OKRs framework, and standardising management tools and IT infrastructure to support the global retail logistics transformation.

The Results

  • Reduced monthly reporting from 45 days to 15 days. 
  • Successfully developed profitability tool to manage profitability by lane and customer improving Gross profit margins by ~5%. 
  • Improved business cashflow by more than 150% Y-o-Y with the implementation of revised payment and debt collection procedures.