Mark Holland has been rewarded for the key part he has played in building Asos’s impressive logistics infrastructure with a Retail Executive promotion to the role of chief operating officer.
Unusually for a PLC, Asos has been without a COO since former occupier Nick Beighton was promoted to chief executive in 2015. But the lack of a formal incumbent has had no discernible negative impact on operations, and between them, Beighton and Holland have built global capabilities which mean almost two-thirds of Asos’s sales are now generated overseas.
Holland is a logistics man through and through having previously served five years as supply chain director at House of Fraser and before that nine years as Matalan’s logistics director.
His deep understanding of how supply chains work was informed by his early career working in chilled food manufacturing where efficient, just-in-time delivery is so essential.
With Brexit threatening to disrupt supply chains, Holland’s logistical know-how and understanding of the macro economic environment in which Asos operates will be critical to minimising the risk of disruption to its business model.
During six years at Asos, Holland has been credited with driving some pioneering initiatives in online fulfilment. He helped automate the online retailer’s logistics infrastructure and introduced a midnight cut off for its next-day delivery proposition, a first for a UK retailer. Customers in selected London, Leeds and Manchester postcodes, meanwhile, now have the option of same day delivery.
Moving forward, global development is a key priority for Asos and in his new role, Holland will be charged with leading some significant transformation projects including the upcoming launch and automation of Asos’s new warehouse in Atlanta, and further automation at its Berlin fulfilment centre.
Getting the operational side of the business right is critical to any online retailer and Beighton speaks the truth when he says that Holland’s skills will be invaluable in positioning the business for future growth.
As the jobs market winds down for a few weeks over Christmas my Move of the Week feature will be taking a short break. I’d like to wish readers a happy and restful Christmas, a successful golden quarter and best wishes for 2019. I sense it’s going to be another busy year!