The British Retail Consortium (BRC) leads our retail industry. It works with its members to shape debates and influence issues and opportunities to help make a positive difference. It consists of two distinct businesses:

  • the not-for-profit Trade Association which is dedicated to working with the retail industry,
  • BRC Global Standards which defines standards for suppliers to retail organisations around the world.

Freeman Clarke were first introduced to the BRC in 2015 when their CEO, Helen Dickinson OBE identified the need for experienced IT and programme leadership. Helen said:

“We had a clear vision for the transformation of BRC but implementing major programmes of this scale is risky and needs a dedicated, experienced leader. Freeman Clarke were able to provide a first-class, committed individual on a long-term but flexible basis.”

One of Freeman Clarke’ team, David Webb, joined BRC with a role overseeing IT and Facilities Management. The programme of modernisation includes the BRC’s IT and office facilities, business systems and digital presence and touches almost every aspect of their work and internal organisation as well as their external online “shop window”.

Prior to David’s arrival, the BRC had received quotes and plans which were not practical and were not aligned with the business objectives and greatly exceeded the available budgets.

David’s role was to oversee the IT aspects of an office move; reduce systems cost through better integration and use of the cloud; to facilitate the introduction of new flexible ways of working; reduce the costs of some internal administrative functions and improve management information. In addition, the new IT and systems reduce business continuity risk.

BRC’s new systems are focussed on allowing the organisation to work more closely with their existing members and customers, as well as enabling the sales team to gain new members and to grow the Global Standards business.

There will also be new websites integrated with the new back-office systems. This will improve the interaction of the BRC Trade Association with both members and the general public, and will deliver new sales opportunities.

Once these roll outs are complete, the BRC will be completely cloud-based which will give them a totally flexible working environment. In their new Agile office space, staff are able to collaborate freely and effectively, without assigned desks and old-fashioned divisions. When needed they can work on the move and remotely without interruption or reduction in their effectiveness.

Helen Dickinson OBE, CEO of the BRC, added:

“This is a huge transformation programme of change which will position us as a leader. It improves our services for members and customers, increases our sales, whilst reducing our costs and risk. David has had a huge positive impact, he has led us through a complex series of options and decisions. Most importantly he behaves like a member of our team rather than an outsider.”