Silver Fern Farms

Silver Fern Farms

2007 ranking: 38

Senior IS executive: Eduard Walthert, MIS manager Reports to: Rob McFarlane, chief financial officer

Size of IS shop: 23

PCs: 900

Mobile PCs: 300

Terminals: 0

Hand-held devices: 60

Total screens: 1260

Industry: Manufacturing

PC environment: Windows 2000, XP; HP

Server environment: Windows 2000, 2003; HP


Address: 218 George Street, Dunedin


Key IS projects this year: MS Office 2007 rollout.

SILVER FERN FARMS is the new name for PPCS. The change is part

of a strategy to re-position PPCS — a meat-marketing and processing

company exporting sheep meat, beef, and venison to 60 countries

— as a fully integrated marketing company.

“Our ambition is for our Silver Fern brand to become New Zealand’s

preminum, international meat brand. Objectives of the IT team include

streamlining and simplifying business processes to improve customer

service,” says Eduard Walthert, ICT Manager for Silver Fern Farms.

The business turns over $2 billion and accounts for 32 per cent of

New Zealand’s sheep meat exports, 31 per cent of beef exports and

58 per cent of venison exports. It is owned by approximately 9000

farmer suppliers, with its head office based in Dunedin and support

offices in Hastings and Christchurch. There are 25 processing facilities

throughout New Zealand and the business employs more than 8000

staff in peak season.

Walthert says key IT projects in 2008 are an upgrade to SQL Server

2005 and Offi ce 2007, along with implementation of CRM, knowledge

management and e-business projects. Silver Fern Farms outsources

PC maintenance and network management to Gen-i, fi nancial systems

support to Fujitsu and Infi nity Business Solutions and payroll to PayGlobal.

Telehouse supports the data centre.

A joint venture with Robotic Technologies has resulted in the development

of automation technology important to the meat processing

sector. Robotic technology is expected to provide lifts in processing

effi ciency and meet global trends in customer demand. In 2007 RTL

was awarded a $4 million grant from the Foundation for Research

Science and Technology, to fast-track commercialisation of robotic

technology and develop a fully-automated, boning-room demonstration


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