Senior IS executive: Owen McCall, chief information officer Reports to: Ian Morrice, CEO
Size of IS shop: 125
Mobile PCs: 538
Hand-held devices: 1627
Total screens: 5965
Industry: Wholesale and retail trade
PC environment: Windows NT, XP; HP; Javelin; Toshiba
Server environment: Unix; VMS; Windows 2000, 2003, NT; HP; IBM;
DBMS: Teradata, Oracle, SQL
Address: 26 The Warehouse Way, Northcote, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Website replacement; e-commerce; overseas
order automation; intelligent product allocations; pricing and ticketing.
HAVING SPENT THE past few years establishing, upgrading and
revamping its ICT infrastructure to maximise operational effi ciency,
ICT operational expenditure is down 25 per cent from what it was
three years ago.
The ICT team at The Warehouse Group is now in the
happy position of being able to focus more fully on core business
needs and supporting these, says CIO Owen McCall. He says new
projects are likely to fall within one of three areas of business need:
Improving its in-store service proposition including improved labour
management in stores and the possibility of self-checkout; increased
purchasing effi ciency, from placement of an order to receiving stock
and automatic ordering; and product range management.
While IT vendor partners include Unisys for back-up and data
centre provision and management, and MicroStrategy and Teradata
for business intelligence and score carding, McCall says The
Warehouse Group is gradually moving away from outsourcing to
systems implementers and other ICT partners and towards in-house
implementation and development.
“We are increasingly working independently of systems integrators
— partly for cost reasons and partly because we will always understand
retail better than the integrator,” says McCall.
With the desire to move ICT work in-house, there is a corresponding
need to attract quality ICT staff. McCall says while retention
is reasonable, it is increasingly diffi cult to recruit good, quality
He says modernisation and virtualisation continue to bring operational
costs down for The Warehouse Group and key business
objectives for the next year include growing sales profi tably and
testing and refi ning The Group’s “Extra” store format.
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