Ocado Group is a technology-led, global, software and robotics platform business, with a strong retail heritage. Ocado has been at the forefront of innovation in the online grocery industry since it was founded in 2000. Its retail business, Ocado.com, is one of the world’s largest online-only supermarkets with over £1.6bn annual revenue and over 795,000 active customers. Customers can shop from a huge range of products on award-winning web and mobile apps, and then enjoy convenient delivery options with world-leading order accuracy and reliability. Unlike traditional supermarkets with their large chain superstores, Ocado’s unique business model relies upon an ecosystem of solutions to serve both a wide range of customer missions and geographies. The centralised ‘hub and spoke’ network of production and distribution, is the core of our solution, with orders prepared in huge, highly automated Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFC).
Ocado Solutions is responsible for our corporate international partnerships, offering the proprietary Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) as a service to retailers around the world. OSP comprises access to Ocado’s physical automation, allowing highly efficient preparation of orders, together with the full end-to-end software applications required to operate a world class online grocery business, bringing the best possible operational economics, consumer experience and service to our partners. Since 2017 we have signed agreements to provide our unique e-commerce solution to a number of the world’s largest grocers, including Groupe Casino (France), Sobeys (Canada), ICA (Sweden), Kroger (USA), Coles (Australia), AEON (Japan), joining our UK partner Morrisons and the Ocado/M&S joint venture. 50+ Customer Fulfilment centres (CFCs) are already committed across our various partners. We continue to invest significantly in our technology and people in order to deliver for current clients and to forge exciting new partnerships.
About the Role
We are looking for highly capable candidates for the role of Partnership Manager who will facilitate effective cross-functional implementation and ongoing business development opportunities. Specifically working with Kroger our largest OSP partner and America's largest grocery retailer (~$120bn revenue). With an initial commitment to build capacity equivalent to 20 CFCs across the US agreed in 2018, the partnership was extended in 2020 to also include Ocado Group's in-store fulfilment solution (ISF), which will be rolled out across Kroger stores to support curbside pickup from 2021.
Since 2018 we have announced the location of the first 10 CFCs in states across the USA, including Kroger’s first mini-CFC. The two first CFCs have gone live in H1 2021 in Monroe (Ohio) and Groveland (Florida)
In this role they work closely with a client to enhance and develop the relationship, and ensure that the partnership is a commercial success for both parties.
- The Partnership Manager will be responsible for overall management of the partner relationship including:
- Day to day management of the relationship ways-of-working
- Leading the partnership operating meetings such as Joint Operating Team meetings
- Responsibility for the P&L, inc. profitability (monitoring, understanding and challenging cost)
- Liaising with OSP teams and ensuring the partner is effectively represented in prioritisation discussions
- Being the primary contact point for the assigned partner for any ‘unowned’ challenges and escalation point should the partner be unhappy with any element of the relationship
- Monitoring SLAs and programme performance
- Problem solving
- The Partnership Manager will be responsible for the continued commercial development of the relationship with the Partner, and any other commercial discussions or renegotiations required (e.g. for new Customer Fulfilment Centres, new products, or for penalties incurred from delays to the programme).
- On the Partner facing side, the Partnership team will be the “face” of Ocado responsible for communicating on all aspects of the relationship and where agreed coordinating the interactions with other parts of Ocado (e.g. Product Solutions, Ocado Technology, Client Services).
- Internally they should play the role of “partner advocate”, ensuring that the needs of the partner are appropriately met, and all relevant areas are aware of trade-offs in not meeting them. They should escalate where they feel the relationship is being compromised by how Ocado is performing in the partnership.
- The Partnership Manager will have responsibility for the commercial success of our partnerships. This will entail some direct responsibilities (e.g. advising our partners on their e-commerce strategy; connecting them with other partners facing similar questions) but will primarily entail ensuring that the right resources across Ocado are brought to bear to ensure our partners’ success (whether these resources are in Product Solutions, Development, Implementation, Client Services or Support Functions).
- The Partnership Manager reports to the regional VP Partnership, who provides support and acts as an escalation point. However, the Partnership Manager will be responsible for the day to day commercial decision making to ensure a successful relationship and is expected to operate with a high level of autonomy in achieving this.
- In addition they will be responsible for handling day-to-day enquiries and provide any exceptional arrangements for our partners (e.g. site visits, buddy routes).
- As the role requires regular engagement with the partner team, some regular US travel and a number of international travel per year may be required as well as flexibility in core hours.
Skills, Experience & Qualifications
- Strong business analysis experience (e.g. business cases, financial modelling, commercial acumen, etc)
- Highly organised and resilient with an eye for detail and strong analytical skills
- Ability to think strategically beyond the immediate task at hand & problem solving
- Experience in a leader among peers role, facilitating multiple work streams simultaneously
- Excellent stakeholder, relationship building and networking skills
- Project Management experience - including prioritisation and escalation responsibilities
- Able to navigate between a customer focus and organisational constraints
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Comfortable communicating with large groups of people
- Self-motivated, able to deliver under deadlines and multi-task under pressure
- Comfortable dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty
- Able to make tough decisions and handle difficult situations, facing challenges with positivity, confidence and pragmatism
- Bachelor’s Degree in appropriate field of study from an accredited university or college (e.g. engineering, science or business)
- Willingness and ability to travel up to 50% of the time either within the US or internationally (UK trip necessary for the first couple of months of onboarding period)
- International experience
- Experience in online retail
- Experience in a consultancy business
- Experience in a fast growing and/or technology organisation
- Business development experience
- Strong leadership skills, able to inspire confidence and deliver a compelling vision
Our values: we’re in it together, we are proud of what we do, we can be even better……
Ocado is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, veteran’s status, or any other classification as required by applicable law.