Simon Blackburn Strategy Consultant

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Data AnalysisFinanceGrowth strategyProject ManagementStakeholder managementStrategy

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Simon Blackburn
A results orientated Strategy Consultant with 11 years experience delivering strategic projects for some of the worlds best known companies. Seeking to leverage my existing skills and learn new ones to deliver meaningful impact on climate change.




January 2016 – present                                                                        Freelance Strategy Consultant, UK & Australia

I work with a variety of clients to build and execute compelling strategies and improve ways of working. I leverage my hybrid Strategy/Finance background to design solutions in areas such as commercial strategy, pricing, business case development, strategic planning, and Customer value propositions. Projects include:


High level growth strategy design for Biffa waste management, London

Sub-contracted by Teneo consulting to provide support in developing a high-level growth strategy for Biffa’s collection division.


·        Leveraged data streams from across the business to create the first single source of truth on profitability

·        Identified and quantified 6 opportunities for the business to improve profitability by 3-9% including driving a less homogenous customer strategy and more targeted and profitable sales approach

·        Developed the benefits case and high-level roadmap, collaborating with client teams to ensure feasibility


Major Range rationalisation & Pricing strategy for Asda Supermarkets, Leeds

Customer function project lead for both a major range reset, and promotions optimisation projects. Led a multi-disciplinary team in designing and delivering strategies to focus price investment and customer communications on the most appealing products and propositions for target customer groups.


·        Established a multi-disciplinary team of 6 Pricing, Marketing, and Insights experts to creative customer giveback (price investment and compelling comms) following a major range rationalisation. Developed a comprehensive methodology to help trading teams be more targeted with investment. This included leveraging newly created customer segmentation to inform decision making, establishing governance and ways of working, and developing/tracking customer success measures

·        Led a third-party agency in developing an investment tool to help Pricing and Buying teams make quicker and more focused price investment decisions

·        Co-authored a new Pricing policy to focus commercial teams on products and propositions that drive a disproportionate improvement in value perception

·        Led a small promotions team in designing and delivering an executive level Promotions evaluation, providing improved visibility of key promotional metrics, and developing promotional guardrails to guide commercial teams towards strategic goals


Retail pricing strategy for Akzo Nobel, Manchester

Interim Head of Pricing. Established a new pricing function to improve the strategic direction for the pricing of over 50,000 products. Trialed, refined, and launched a new Pricing strategy in market, delivering +4.9% revenue growth.


·        Established the UK Pricing team. Worked with existing functions to define the team’s role, cross-functional ways of working, and pricing governance. Embedded Price decision making as a core element of business planning & review processes

·        Managed a team of two analysts. Led in developing their Pricing, storytelling, modelling, and commercial capabilities. Within a year the team were identified as best practice globally, leading on key global/European initiatives

·        Introduced new analytical techniques (such as promo evaluation & basket analysis and competitor analysis) to improve depth and quality of insight, and to improve commercial decision making

·        Oversaw the integration of four acquired businesses into the organization from a Pricing perspective, including working with the businesses to minimise customer disruption and simplify the customer journey

·        Led the launch of a new Pricing architecture across over 220 stores nationwide, changing over 600,000 prices in the process, and training over 250 people on the marketing campaign and customer benefits. The project launched on time in full, with a +5% increase in customer numbers and +4.9% increase in revenue

·        Simultaneously managed over half a dozen high profile initiatives, acting as a key driver of change across the business to improve commercial acumen, and improving cross-functional / cross-region collaboration

·        Worked cross functionally to improve existing ways of working. Drove improved communication between head office and field, saved back-office time by improving process flow, and developed improved reporting for the executive team

·        Developed a multi-year roadmap for change detailing a series of initiatives to improve the use of pricing levers to influence their customers and competitors


Major Range rationalisation for Woolworths Supermarkets, Sydney

Contracted to work alongside BCG and internal Strategy & Buying teams for Australia’s largest Supermarket. Outcomes included a significantly reduced range, improved cost prices and enhanced customer shopping experience.


·        Managed range reviews for 6 product categories, totaling c.$400m in revenue. Conducted customer-led analysis of existing ranges by distilling insights from customer loyalty data as well as decomposing the commercial dynamics of the category

·        Trialed new ranges, layouts, and prices to evaluate the impact on customers and profitability, as well as providing insights to leverage in supplier negotiation. Collaborated with teams to improve performance reporting and root cause analysis

·        Achieved a c.8% reduction in range whilst also leveraging competitive tension for space which resulted in significant long-term COGS and margin benefits. Worked with buying teams to simplify the customer shopping experience whilst retaining loyalty.

·        Redesigned parts of BCG’s range review process to save time and consulting cost, such as streamlining the methodology and automating their financial forecasting tool


Pricing for SSP Global Travel Retail, London

Designed a new Pricing architecture for SSP’s portfolio of 70 bars, maximizing profitability across 2,500 products and streamlined their price setting processes.


·        Developed commercial principles to guide future pricing/profit decisions within commercial teams

·        Created a user-friendly repeatable model and methodology to rapidly apply these principles across a complex set of thousands of products to arrive at a defensible pricing architecture that delivered c.£1m profit upside


Integration and market assessment for a collection of charities, London

Advised two charities sector providers on a potential merger.


·        Provided a robust evaluation of their combined P&L, including financial and non-financial synergy benefits over time, integration cost forecasts, and potential issues in implementation

·       Evaluated policy drivers and commissioning landscape of the justice sector. Reviewed government policy documents, and distilled key insights to identify and evaluate potential future opportunities for a combined organisation


August 2015 – December 2015                                                          Co-founder –, London

Co-founder of Arlians, a B2B network for SME’s that uses a dating site algorithm to automatically connect businesses who could mutually benefit in forming a strategic relationship. I participated in all aspects of the product launch, such as product design, GTM strategy, marketing, and business case development.


February 2014 – August 2015                                   Senior Consultant – Fifth P Strategy Consulting, London

Experience in revenue growth management, pricing, promotions, and Commercial planning. Fifth P’s small size meant I engaged in all aspects of consulting including Business Development and value proposition development. Projects included:


5-year Price Pack strategy for Mars Chocolate, London

Designed and embedded a 3-5-year pricing strategy across the organisation. Led 1 of 3 project work streams, responsible for stakeholder engagement and workshop co-creation.


·        Developed a strategy creation process, to transform high level corporate vision into coherent pricing principles and detailed KPI’s for local teams. Delivered cross functional workshops to evaluate future market/competitor changes, allowing for clear strategic and financial direction to guide decision making

·        Developed a detailed 5-year financial projection of the confectionery market, creating profit forecasts for 5,000 products, and enabling commercial teams to evaluate the volume and financial implications of different strategies

·        Synthesized insights from shopper analysis, market data and competitive intel to formulate a 5-year commercial roadmap, including detailed monthly promotions tactics and price changes, improving profitability by c.£13m

·        Built a KPI dashboard for reporting price indexes and market share changes to the board to track progress against the KPIs and commercial roadmap developed earlier in the project


Commercial business planning for Coca-Cola Europe, London

Project manager, tasked with delivering improvements to the client’s commercial planning process. Responsibilities included managing analyst resource, and for overall client delivery.


·        Created a promotions planning tool that allowed the Revenue Management team to rapidly build a full week by week promotions plan by retailer. This resulted in a more effective, data driven evaluation of their commercial plan and facilitated cross team collaboration between Revenue Management, Sales, Marketing, and Finance


Price Pack strategy for Coca-Cola Europe, Stockholm

Client engagement lead. Responsible for developing a “lean” methodology to formulating Price Pack Promotions strategies, helping to embed the Revenue Management team in the organization.


·        Gathered and synthesized shopper data, competitive intelligence, customer insights, and financial analysis to decompose their position and opportunities in the market. Ran a series of cross functional workshops to share these insights and co-create potential options to improve their growth trajectory over 3 years

·        Successfully integrated a bespoke approach to developing Price Pack Promotions strategies


February 2013 – February 2014                   Finance consultant (CFO advisory) – Deloitte MCS Limited, London

Finance Consultant (CFO advisory) for Deloitte, with experience in Finance transformation, Cost modeling, and Finance business partnering. Projects included:


Cost modeling and Investment appraisal for the Ministry of Defence, Bristol

Business partnered a multi-disciplined team of civil servants on a 50-year defence project.


·        Successfully guided the project through cost assurance and investment approvals stage gates including performing Monte-Carlo simulations on long-term projected costs. The projects ongoing financial management received government recognition as best in class, winning support from senior civil servants

·        Trained the clients Finance team in cost modelling best practice and business case development


September 2010 – January 2013                         Finance graduate scheme – Cadbury plc, London/Birmingham

Business partnered marketing and sales teams in budgeting, forecasting, and building financial cases for NPD.


·        Created and owned a process for reporting weekly revenue predictions to the FD and MD, resulting in improved alignment with their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe

·        Successfully guided 6 marketing teams through the integration between Cadbury and Kraft, including converting their P&Ls from UK to USGAAP, resulting in a successful go live, and significantly improved brand financials reporting




October 2010 – February 2014                                                                                    Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

·       CIMA qualified (all first time passes)

October 2005 – June 2008                                                                                                                                            Durham University

·       2:1 BSc (hons) in Natural Sciences

September 2003 – July 2005                                                                                                                      St Mary’s College sixth form, Crosby


A-Levels:   5 A’s (Maths, Business Studies, Psychology, History, General Studies), 1 B (further Maths)




I have a passion for sustainability, specifically in how systemic changes and technological advances can accelerate progress towards sustainability development goals.