Carter Holt Harvey

Carter Holt Harvey

2007 ranking: 8

Senior IS executive: Pat O’Connell, chief information officer

Reports to: Chief executive officer

Size of IS shop: 180

PCs: 5000

Mobile PCs: 2000

Terminals: 800

Hand-held devices: 700

Total screens: 8500

Industry: Manufacturing

PC environment: Windows XP, Dell, IBM

Server environment: Windows 2003; Solaris; Linux; AIX; Compaq; Dell;

iSeries, pSeries; Sun

DBMS: DB2, Oracle, SQL

Address: 640 Great South Road, Manukau City, Auckland


Key IS projects this year: SAP deployment in the US; Integration

projects in the US; production planning projects for building supplies


CARTER HOLT HARVEY was purchased for NZ$3.3 billion by

entrepreneur Graham Hart in 2006 and now comprises about 40 per

cent of Hart’s Rank Group. CIO Pat O’Connell says a softening economy

exacerbated by a challenging export market is the main challenge

faced by Carter Holt Harvey, with revenue growth and cost containment

in a diffi cult market as key business objectives.

“Accurate information, fast information and optimised planning are

all important to the business, and are processes in which ICT has a

signifi cant impact. ICT helps us control fi nancials and ensures good

matching of production to customer demand. It also allows us to

develop strong working capital control,” says O’Connell.

He says the economic slowdown is unlikely to affect the ICT budget

for Carter Holt Harvey or its existing ICT contracts with vendors.

“We run pretty lean anyway; we can’t take much more out.”

He says while vendor mergers and ongoing acquisitions are of

concern, as this creates fewer players in the market, the impact is

minimised for organisations once a major application supplier is


“Once you join with a particular vendor, you are locked in with them

regardless. The cost of exit is pretty high,” says O’Connell.

In the coming 12 months Carter Holt Harvey will continue a number

of existing ICT projects in the areas of ERP, business intelligence and

fi nancial systems upgrades. Server virtualisation and extensions to

wireless and cellular mobile technologies are also ongoing.

Key ICT projects by cost include SAP deployment and integration

projects in the US, as well as production planning projects for the

building supplies group.

O’Connell says Carter Holt Harvey has not made a signifi cant investment

in VoIP to date, but this year will begin to evaluate the potential

benefi ts of unified communications applications. Work on e-channels

is minimal however, as Carter Holt Harvey has observed only light

interest in B2B e-business models from suppliers and business partners,

says O’Connell.

“It’s very low level; just a small number of business partners and

transactions,” he says.

Like many organisations this year, Carter Holt Harvey continues to

upgrade disaster recovery and business continuity systems.

O’Connell says all ICT functions are conducted in-house with

the exception of SAP development and support, which is entirely

outsourced to former Carter Holt Harvey subsidiary Oxygen Business


Carter Holt Harvey is “reasonably satisfied” with the telecommunication

services it receives in New Zealand, though less so for Australia,

O’Connell says.

Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MIS100

Show Comments