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Middle Management Replaced By Technology At Bunnings

After a major restructuring of their struggling Target operation which is now merged with Kmart back of house operations Wesfarmers has moved to restructure management at their cash cow Bunnings which has a headcount of around 53,000 people.

The move will see several middle managements retrenched; no mention has been made of the anticipated cost savings.

The national hardware chain aims to grow their low-cost model with staff walking the stores more to engage more with customers.

According to the Australian Bunnings wants to leverage their technology infrastructure and software systems by slimming down its corporate reporting using new systems to save costs.

A layer of eight regional managers, who reported to general managers, has been eliminated.

Under the new reporting structure, Bunnings managing director Mike Schneider will have access to a large pool of general managers who will be the key link with managers running the 352 Bunnings networks.

Several new stores are set to be added to the network including the new multi-million-dollar Bunnings currently being built at Frenches Forest in New South Wales.

Schneider told The Australian the restructure was part of an ongoing strategy to create the most efficient operating model possible, while also evolving to meet changing customer needs as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.

This was also being driven by the large investments in technology Bunnings has recently made helping to simplify and improve its business model.

“We regularly review team structures and resourcing to ensure we have the right skills and roles to support our team,” he said.

“We recently announced some small changes to our senior retail operations team to simplify our structure and leverage investments made in our operations, both in store and in our wider team.”

Wesfarmers’ half-year results revealed that Bunnings’ revenue for the period increased 6.3 per cent to $9.792bn, with earnings increasing 1.5 per cent to $1.278bn.

The hardware giant now contributes around 60 per cent of Wesfarmers’ total earnings.

This is not the first time that Bunnings has trimmed staff after they slashed staff at their national support Centre and head office in areas such as training, communications, and other support services last year.

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