Foodstuffs (South Island) Ltd is an example of 100 percent
owned and operated New Zealand company embracing technology for the benefit of both customers and suppliers whilst at the same time producing efficiencies in its own operations. As with many New Zealand organisations, Foodstuffs was driven to examine its information systems to become Y2K compliant. With this in mind, 1999 saw the rollout of Profound into its 47 supermarkets. Profound Junior was implemented at two Foodmarket Division markets.
In particular, the company pioneered the transmission and receipt of purchase orders and invoices in the New Zealand market. This commenced in June 1999 and in the next nine months enabled Foodstuffs to process 98,000 charge-through invoices through the electronic data interchange (EDI) system, which is equivalent to about eight percent of all charge-through invoices.
The use of EDI to transfer information automatically through the chain between suppliers, the company and its customers is also of note. Foodstuffs members – its supermarkets, identified all the requirements and set the prerequisites for the EDI e-commerce projects, and management worked with members to implement the changes. The results were less errors, more effective and efficient service, and quicker and more accurate billing and payment process. And the work has not ended there. Future e-commerce projects include dedicated Foodstuffs website, the movement to HXML, and Internet email. The work done by the company can be expected to drive its business more efficiently with the resulting positive impacts on profitability.
Waitemata Health runs the North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals, the Mason Clinic and number of community bases, as well as holding the contract for regional dental services in the greater Auckland area. It manages 3500 employees, and has total spend of over $40 million year on goods ranging from plasters to pencils, bandages to blades for drills, to ID bracelets. Last year it rolled out its Internet procurement application as part of $2.5 million project to bring all corporate data into one area through its Oracle ERP software. The organisation believes it shaved $1.4 million off purchasing alone, since going online in the first year. Under the old manual system, Waitemata Health had 61,000 products, with 245 delivery locations. After eliminating duplicated lines, this has been reduced to 5400 products. Instead of filling out forms, cost centres such as individual wards and community-based units can now buy from preferred suppliers directly using the Internet.
The key was developing an online catalogue of frequently used items that staff could routinely purchase online. The approach taken by Waitemata Health demonstrates the benefits of careful analysis and planning, and the importance of building the support of key people.