Mainfreight(MIS100 2011)

Mainfreight(MIS100 2011)

2010 ranking: 65

Senior IS executive:
Kevin Drinkwater, CIO Reports to: Don Braid, CEO

Size of IS shop: 54

PCs: 2192

Mobile PCs: 669

Terminals: 361

Hand-held devices: 1216

Total screens: 4438

Industry: Transport and warehousing

PC environment: Windows XP, 7; HP; Dell

Server environment: Windows 2008, HP Intel, Dell


Address: 2 Railway Lane, Otahuhu, Auckland


Key IS projects this year: Move to Exchange 2008; upgrade to Cisco network equipment; and the release of a new US domestic freight system.

Mainfreight’s ICT projects are up nearly 10 percent this year, mainly due to a software project for Mainfreight US, which will be built in New Zealand. Ongoing development will continue to support business operations and bring greater efficiencies to the global logistics provider. ICT budgets and staff numbers will rise up to five per cent this year, as a result of positive gains in the economy. The $220 million purchase of Dutch-based Wim Bosman Group will lead to knowledge transfer between Europe and the rest of Mainfreight’s international operations.

Trends, such as changes to CIO reporting lines and adoption of certain technologies, have made an impression on Mainfreight CIO Kevin Drinkwater: “There are still many organisations making unwise decisions in regard to their choices of critical software systems. There continues to be a trend of buying an ERP system because you are told you should have one, and then implementation gets out of control.

“This often happens as there are not enough directors on boards who know about technology and, therefore, do not ask the right questions. The reporting of the CIO to the CFO does not help either, as often there is too much emphasis on the cost perspective rather than getting the solution right long term.”

Drinkwater reports directly to the Mainfreight CEO, and careful, well-planned and executed investments in technology have assisted the business in its growth from a local company to a business that is well on the way to fulfilling its global aspirations as a supply chain provider. Its European acquisition will mean a team of 4400 in branches across Australia, China, Europe, New Zealand and the US.

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Tags managementMIS100mis100 2011

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