Foodstuffs South Island

Foodstuffs South Island

2007 ranking: 43

Senior IS executive: Phil Wright, GM of information technology Reports to: Steve Anderson, CEO

Size of IS shop: 65

PCs: 800

Mobile PCs: 75

Terminals: 750

Hand-held devices: 800

Total screens: 2425

Industry: Wholesale and retail trade

PC environment: Windows XP, IBM

Server environment: OS400, Windows 2003, AIX, IBM

DBMS: DB2, Interbase, SQL

Address: 165-169 Main North Road, Papanui, Christchurch


Key IS projects this year: SAP rollout into stores.

BASED IN CHRISTCHURCH, Foodstuffs South Island is one of three

separate, regionally based and retailer owned co-operative companies

of the sizeable Foodstuffs organisation.

Phil Wright, Foodstuffs South Island general manager IT, says

due to margin realities, IT plans and goals must align with business

objectives to be justified.

In 2008, IT projects that meet these criteria include a significant

SAP rollout into stores, continued commitment to e-commerce and

the GS1net enablement.

Wright says the self-checkout technology

deployed in some stores has proven popular with customers, owner

operators and the owner’s staff.

“From a technology perspective the ‘users’ are actually customers,

which presents a different perspective to user training,” says Wright.

On the telecommunications front, Wright says both Telecom and

Vodafone perform well in respect of the services they provide to

Foodstuffs South Island, but echoes other CIOs in saying he would

like telecommunication providers to do a better job of seeing

telecommunication needs from the customers’ perspective and tailoring

telecommunication products and services rather than providing set


“We do find the services reasonably reliable, although one challenge

is the bandwidth available to our Four Square stores in rural areas,”

says Wright.

Meanwhile, Foodstuffs South Islands use of mobile technology to

access office communication systems has expanded with staff using

Blackberrys, laptops and 3G devices. Wright says the majority of

Foodstuffs South Island users now prefer Blackberry mobile devices

to laptops.

“Basic email, diary and phone are what they really need when out of

the office. However, we still have users with 3G cards and laptops as

some require it as part of their role.”

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