Our bold ambition is to be one click away from every customer, consumer and supplier, in a very personalised way.Dominic Quin, Fonterra\n"For a big company like us, it is very easy to get siloed," says Dominic Quin, head of digital transformation at multinational dairy co-operative Fonterra.\n\u201cWe wanted to make sure the customer has a unified experience with the whole company, and for us digital transformation was the answer,\u201d says Quin.\n\u201cWe needed to transform digitally and build one platform, so we could connect all the way through the business.\u201d\nHe says the company is already on its way there, working with Salesforce to build a connected digital skin around its business units and connecting all staff.\n\u201cWe are the middle ground between the needs of consumers and business units, customer suppliers and actually translating that need into digital solutions,\u201d he tells CIO New Zealand.\nAs he explains, Fonterra was created in 2001 as an \u201cend-to-end co-operative\u201d. As such, it can take milk from farmers who own the company and manage that all the way through the supply chain to the consumer.\nFonterra is New Zealand\u2019s biggest company and the world\u2019s largest processor of dairy products, producing 18 billion litres of milk annually. \nFonterra exports 95 per cent of its product to 100 countries. It has more than 22,000 employees, with more than 10,000 based outside New Zealand.\n\u201cGeographically we are quite remote across the world,\u201d he says, \u201cwe want to get to a position where we can get a little closer to our customers.\n\u201cOur bold ambition is to be one click away from every customer, consumer and supplier, in a very personalised way.\u201d\nHaving one ecosystem that will allow Fonterra to engage, innovate and connect and heighten the customer experience for each of these groups is important, he points out.\nAt the recent Salesforce Basecamp conference in Auckland, Dominic Quin talks about connecting consumers, customers and employees in one platform as an essential step to digital transformation.\nYou have got to have that user experience rightDominic Quin, Fonterra\nThe biggest challenge, he says, was moving away from 30 different CRM systems to one CRM partner.\n\u201cIt does not matter who you connect with around the organisation,\u201d says Quin, on the top goal of the integration project. \u201cConsumers, customers and employees are all connected together in one platform.\u201d\nHis team chose one part of the business to test this integration. They chose Farm Source, which at that time had three CRM systems.\nFarm Source is the system that integrates Fonterra with the farmers, through a website and apps, a 24-hour helpline and a network of stores across the country.\nThe co-operative has a network of people that support the farmers. The system, which has a single view of the farmers, allowed the mobile teams to change the way they interact with farmers.\nWhen a farmer raises an issue or seeks information, the representative can drive to the area, look at the notes and have the conversation right then and there. This provides a positive experience for the farmer.\nWhereas, in the past, the Fonterra representative will respond by visiting the farm, filling in a carbon copy pad of the details of the conversation, then spending time in the office to update their notes.\n\u201cThe type of conversation you have changes dramatically when you have a closed single loop for the customer,\u201d he says. \u201cIt is about connecting everyone together and everyone having the right conversation in real-time.\u201d\nThe beauty of a single CRM is you can take a service solution, or an app, to another part of the business and modify it slightly for a different purpose, he says.\nHyperpersonalisation, meanwhile, allows them to get to understand each supplier. This is important for Fonterra, which works with 10,000 farming groups with different farm structures.\n\u201cUltimately, the consumer wants a better experience, Their expectations are growing and one of the ways we can do that is through personalisation\u201d, he says.\n\u201cBecause of the power of artificial intelligence, that hyperpersonalisation will be achievable in time,\u201d he says.\n"So when you go into the website and you are registered on our CMS platform, that goes into Einstein (artificial intelligence platform of Salesforce) and we can personalise content for you.\n\u201cPersonalised content is a big area,\u201d he says. \u201cUltimately you don\u2019t want to see things that are irrelevant.\u201d\nQuin works closely with Fonterra global CIO Gerben Otter.\nGerben Otter, global CIO, Fonterra\nHe says the global IS team delivers the technical expertise, knowledge and architecture to make the systems work.\n\u201cThe focus is putting the customer at the centre of what we do,\u201d he says, of a common theme he and his team has with global IS.\nHe says the two teams recently worked on a collaboration platform for Fonterra staff across the globe. Any idea from a staff member in the global operation can be posted in the platform and translated into 15 languages.\nThe response has been great, he says, as they got positive feedback and much better usage of the platform compared to the intranet.\n\u201cInternet of Things (IoT) is a massive opportunity for us,\u201d says Quin on another technology focused project they are working on.\nFonterra is now working with Salesforce to pilot IoT on farms. Thus, data like soil moisture and conditions of the grass and paddocks, can be converted into real-time data that farmers can access in the devices they use to assist in production decisions.\n\u201cWe are piloting how we can work in that space with farmers, as precision agriculture becomes more important for productivity and sustainability.\u201d \nIt is also about scaling their work on IoT. \u201cWe have 10,500 farmers, we want to create solutions that can scale rapidly.\u201d\n\u201cHow do we get there quickly and how do we keep ahead of the game? We are using technology to enable that.\u201d\nPhoto by Divina Paredes\nUnderstand the problem you are solving and the importance of design thinking in solving that problem as wellDominic Quin, Fonterra\nCareer outlook\nPrior to Fonterra, Quin was general manager customer experience at Tabcorp in Australia. There he implemented change management programmes, including customer loyalty and advocacy for the group\u2019s four casinos.\nHe joined Fonterra as general manager marketing and innovation, then moved on to director for marketing and innovation and on to director global marketing services.\nThe skills that are critical in his team\u2019s work at Fonterra include user experience, search engine optimisation, content management, as well as CRM.\n"We have small agile teams that can work across each business unit in Fonterra." \n\u201cIt is a very collaborative environment.\u201d\nHe says his team applies design thinking, as they work on functionalities on applications. An example is that of ensuring farmers, who don't work office hours, will be able to use their mobile app, when checking on milk production figures at 4am.\nAt the other end of the scale, the user experience considerations will be different for an app being developed for a sales representative in Hong Kong.\n\u201cYou have got to have that user experience right.\u201d\nHe says it is also important to \u201cget your house in order\u201d when it comes to data.\nHe cites the experience of Farm Source, which was able to move quicker after the division had ensured it had clean data and good data structures.\n\u201cBe very clear to define the business problem,\u201d he stresses.\n\u201cUnderstand the problem you are solving and the importance of design thinking in solving that problem as well.\n\u201cBut the most important is collaborating and being trusted by the organisation, to support them in their journey and deliver to their requirements,\u201d he concludes.\nNo caption\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter:@divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nSign up forCIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.