The Warehouse Group

The Warehouse Group

2007 ranking: 23

Senior IS executive: Owen McCall, chief information officer Reports to: Ian Morrice, CEO

Size of IS shop: 125

PCs: 3800

Mobile PCs: 538

Terminals: 0

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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