Foodstuffs is New Zealand’s biggest grocery retailer and distributor, and consists of three separate, regionally based, retailer-owned co-operative companies (Auckland, Wellington and South Island) and a federation body. Glen Wilson, solutions manager — MIS operations, leads the IT team for the Wellington do-operative, providing ICT services to approximately 1400 Foodstuffs employees across the lower North Island.
A major focus this year is on improvement in master data management capabilities, while social media and mobility are new areas under investigation for Foodstuffs (Wellington) in 2012. Projects covering cloud computing, business intelligence, wireless, e-business, virtualisation, disaster recovery for key systems, FMIS and knowledge management will continue from last year.
“Technology solutions are adopted where there is a sound business case supporting an initiative, whether to enhance our customer’s shopping experience, improve business efficiency in retailing/supply chain, or providing a higher standard of supporting services to our membership and, ultimately, to our retail customers,” says Wilson.
Embracing mobile technology has long been a hallmark of the Foodstuffs organisation. It uses mobile features such as barcode scanning, mobile computing, wireless networking and mobility management software to improve visibility into supply chain operations, increase customer satisfaction through self-service options, and centralise management of IT investment. “IT services are also integral to an ongoing retail store modernisation and development programme across our region,” Wilson explains.