Early in my career I found myself part of the new products division of Unilever, the large multinational Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company.  My job was to take the wonderful food combinations thought up by our marketing department and work with the food technologists and the packaging experts to extract the expensive ingredients without affecting the flavour and look too much.  Sometimes we made good calls.  At other times our enthusiastic cost cutting, while technically feasible, as with the changes to the Woollies rewards changes proved to make no business sense.  the margins were there but the customers weren't!

It seems that a comparable new products team at Woollies were hard at work doing something similar with their rewards program. 

One of the  reasons they were able to make these changes was because the loyalty program technology they purchased allows it.  Like with many decisions in corporate life around leveraging technology it doesn't necessarily mean it makes good business sense to do so.  Woollies is to be commended on moving so quickly to change things.  It is a timely reminder to involve the business in technology decisions and to be quick about changing things if they're not working - even more so on a big ticket project like this $500m one.