STEVENSON CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS is a division of the Stevenson Group responsible for quarries in Auckland and the Waikato,
Auckland based Readymix operations and an inter-related Laboratory operation. Recent restructuring of the wider Stevenson Group has positioned Stevenson Construction Materials to have its own operational and management structure.
Anthony Bitossi, manager, information systems, says standardised and integrated systems are critical to the group, which has expanded through the years through organic growth and mergers. He says the most important ICT project for the team would be replacement of the ageing ERP system.
A working group with members from the ICT and business units have spent a lot of time in the last quarter of 2015 analysing the requirements. The group is targeting a go live date of July for the ERP system. He foresees a busy year ahead, with the shift to digital platforms, along with vehicle recognition, asset/preventative maintenance, OCR (optical character recognition which converts PDFs and images into searchable and editable data). and accounts payable and invoice automation.
He foresees a busy year ahead, with a large number of ICT based projects. The shift to digital platforms is one focus of the organisation this year, along with vehicle recognition, asset/ preventative maintenance, OCR (optical character recognition which converts PDFs and images into searchable and editable data) and accounts payable and invoice automation.
He foresees vehicle recognition technology being used in the company’s quarry sites, with information on trucks, such as registration, entered automatically into a system. This will save time compared to the previous manual system, reduce error, and allow the company to use the data to better forecast demand for services and use of its facilities.
“We run a business where things will become more digital over time,” Bitossi says.
It will be a gradual step, he says. He points out the move to a digital environment is not only coming from users, but also customers and business partners.
“We can get smarter with tracking where our trucks are at any point in time,” he says, adding this also enhances benefits to customers. “If you are waiting for deliveries on concrete and aggregate you want to know when the truck is coming, when the next load will arrive.”
He says major investments will also be made across application modernisation, infrastructure consolidation/ virtualisation, systems operations automation with enterprise management software, and VOIP/ unified communications.
Some of the challenges he and his team face are around speed of deployment and agility.
Bitossi says it is important not to have a layer in between ICT and the CEO. “When we hold senior management meetings, it allows for an open forum between all areas in the business including ICT. It also allows me a direct feed to the CEO so that at any time I can ensure ICT is aligned with the strategic direction of the business.”
“If the role was reporting through to other business areas, you could be pushed in a certain direction or towards that person’s position or department – sales, finance, or operations.
“I have conversations with my CEO where he just throws ideas left and right, and says, can we do this, can we do that? The stimulus of these blue sky moments is great and the work we are doing now should allow for us to be more agile and respond quickly to ongoing future demands.”