Delivering operationally critical retail management platforms in the transformation to a new business operating model.

Costcutter Supermarkets Group

The Business

Costcutter is part of Costcutter Supermarkets Group, consisting of Costcutter, Mace, Supershop, and Simply Fresh, throughout the UK. As a retail group, they service over 2,200 independent convenience retail businesses.

We provided the following digital expertise

Back-end Development


Automated testing

Agile Delivery

The Challenge

  • Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) elected to switch wholesale supply partner.
  • At that time all core operational retail systems, including retail management, online retailer ordering, warehouse management and supply chain fulfilment were provided by third parties.
  • The only proprietary capability CSG possessed was CPOS, their in-house built EPOS platform.
  • On announcement, a fixed migration time scale was mandated – 18 months from the start of the Answer Digital engagement. Consequently, the delivery programme had to be accelerated beyond the timescales typically available for this kind of programme.
  • The scale of delivery required a commitment to a total organisational transformation programme. Every element of the CSG business would be impacted.
  • Commercial, operational, fulfilment and technological processes had to be created from scratch, as the business defined the joint operating model with the new supply chain partner.
  • The CSG business was in a state of transition during the delivery programme. As the operating model evolved, so did the requirements for systems and business processes.
  • Adopting an Agile approach would be critical to success. However, this would be a totally new way of working.
  • The development team was growing as the scale of the programme grew. This would place significant cultural, behavioural and management challenges on the leadership team.

"Answer have been a key and integral part of a 3-year programme to develop our market-leading grocery retail platform bringing seasoned experts, best practice agile processes and a real focus upon the business outcome."

The Answer

  • The Answer Digital Retail team worked closely with CSG, delivering the systems required to enable retail operations self sufficiency in under 18 months.
  • Migration of 2,200 retailers in 28 days, ensuring seamless ordering & fulfilment migration from NISA into a new wholesale supply partner, minimising disruption to business continuity.
  • Culturally embedding new Agile & Kanban ways of working. This enabled the IT team to respond faster to evolving business needs. Systems designed with the specific intent to allow organisation agility.
  • Answer Digital lead the development team from a 5-man java team, to a substantial team running full Kanban & Dev ops processes, which substantially grew the internal development capability. Matured from releasing software once per ‘sprint’ (periodically), to multiple releases into production daily.
  • Giving retailers access to real time data - offering transparency in the supply chain process (availability and fulfilment).

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about how we delivered operationally critical retail management platforms for Costcutter, or how we can transform your digital offering to achieve successful outcomes for your business then contact our Head of Retail, Richard Ellis, on