Helping Whitbread to create the digitally driven supply chain of the future

Setting the scene

Whitbread is the UK’s largest operator of hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. Through its portfolio of household-name brands including Costa Coffee, Premier Inn, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, the company employs more than 50,000 people and serves 27 million customers a month. Given the nature of its businesses, an efficient, effective and tightly controlled supply chain is key to Whitbread’s continued success.

Helping Whitbread to create the digitally-driven supply chain of the future

"PwC has understood the requirements of our Customers and our Brand strategy, and has played a key role in shaping and developing an appropriate supply chain solution through innovative thinking supported by data analytics. The solution will deliver better service to our store colleagues and customers more efficiently than through our current operating model."

Jeremy Harrison,Whitbread Supply Chain Director

How we helped

In mid-2016 Whitbread decided to define the future vision for its supply chain for the next five to ten years. After a competitive tender, it selected PwC UK to help. Starting in August 2016, a PwC team of supply chain specialists worked with the Whitbread team to define the future supply chain strategy. This detailed four-month review used SCOOP – PwC’s supply chain opportunity and optimisation data analytics platform – to identify the appropriate balance of cost and service and define the future roadmap.

SCOOP is a proprietary PwC innovation that combines PwC's knowledge of supply chain and analytics into a unique platform of analytics applications. Using SCOOP, the PwC team was able to capture over 48 million rows of transactional data for a 12-month period and provide a comprehensive picture of Whitbread’s entire supply chain network. The team also gathered and cleansed data from multiple sources to provide a complete visualisation of the company’s supply chain cost-to-serve and simulated future scenarios at delivery site level to identify optimal strategies.

With the roadmap and cost savings from transformation of the supply chain now clear, the PwC team moved into a four-month transition planning phase, which included mobilising plans for quick wins and running proofs of concept for the new strategy. In May 2017 the project entered the implementation phase, involving changing the operating model and ways of working, and retendering the outsourced logistics networks to select the most appropriate long-term partners.


Today, the benefits from Whitbread’s new supply chain strategy are starting to flow. Key elements include having a single supply chain organisation across the brands to maximise synergies. Whitbread is developing the capability to implement a multi-speed delivery network to support different brand objectives, with direct daily deliveries for fresh products and milk and harmonised delivery frequency, vehicles and warehousing for the core network. This will allow a significant reduction in vehicle distances travelled, and the associated carbon footprint, from 15 million to eight million kilometres per year.

The supply chain transformation is an important element of Whitbread’s everyday efficiency programme, which has a target of £150m over five years to help mitigate sector headwinds. PwC is proud to have worked with Whitbread, using SCOOP, to define the supply chain of the future.

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