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CIO100 2017 #24: Philip Coster, Mitre 10

  • Name Philip Coster
  • Title Chief information officer
  • Company Mitre 10
  • Commenced Role May 2014
  • Reporting Line Neil Cowie, CEO
  • Technology Function 30 IT staff plus contractors
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    Proudly New Zealand owned and operated, with 81 stores nationwide and employing close to 5000 team members, Mitre 10 is the country’s biggest home improvement and garden retailer and one of the fastest-growing trade merchants.

    As trusted brand since 1974, Mitre 10 is committed to being the best home improvement store in town. A big part of this is delivering a superior customer experience, which over the last couple of years has seen Mitre 10 undertake an IT transformation.

    “As a retailer, we need to be able to engage and interact with our customers in a way that is relevant as well as helpful,” says Phil Coster, CIO, Mitre 10 NZ.

    “The market is competitive and we are faced with an increasingly digital landscape, which means over recent years it’s been more important than ever to step things up and take more of a focus on delivering IT solutions that make life easier for our customers, and more efficient for our teams.

    “We have a number of IT streams in place that capture our core infrastructure needs and capabilities and extend through to providing seamless and innovative experiences as we see our purpose as an IT team as being an enabler, as well as a contributor to innovation,” says Coster.

    “With innovations, the company can implement new ideas quickly, create competitive advantage and improve customer experience.”

    To name a few, the Mitre 10 IT transformation has delivered improved quoting, ordering and invoicing for retail and trade customers; a trade online experience via TradeHub; greater ecommerce ability, a video streaming platform and significant improvement of legacy systems for the store network.

    An IT leadership development programme has also been developed. It consists of 360-degree assessments, coaching and soft skills development plus segments on customer service transformation, improving customer services through review of processes and service feedback, improving technical efficiencies and succession planning.

    Coster says he has a simple approach to delivering technology-enabled changes: “Have a good strategy, spend time finding the right people and work very closely with all business units.”

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