Senior IS executive: Phil Wright, GM of information technology Reports to: Steve Anderson, CEO
Size of IS shop: 65
Mobile PCs: 75
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,”
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
“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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