Heading up IT for one of Australia’s largest online auction groups means GraysOnline’s CIO, Tony Coorey, always has a project on the go.
The Sydney-based company recently completed an upgrade to its supply chain optimisation software, Manhattan Supply Chain Architected for Logistics Execution (SCALE), in order to use the supply chain intelligence (SCI) capability. SCI will allow GraysOnline warehouse workers to keep better track of inventory.
This inventory ranges from electronic goods and wine to mining equipment. The company sells 120,000 items online per month to consumers and businesses.
Coorey spoke with CIO Australia about the online auction market, reducing costs and expansion plans.
What does an average work day involve for you at GraysOnline?
At the moment we’re looking at shifting our Web hosting provider so I’m assessing how that project is going. The project should be complete at the end of July this year.
My day also involves working very closely with the management of various parts of the business to understand their current strategies.
I also look at the marketing activities that go on for our existing websites and the improvements we can make to those sites.
What are some of the challenges you face in the role of CIO?
The biggest challenge that faces me is looking at how to spend more wisely.
We’ve seen technology costs drop significantly over the years and to implement change, you tend to spend more money on the resources than the actual hardware you’re implementing.
What are some of the projects you have been working on?
Our mobile optimised website has been a big project as we see customer mobile usage rates increasing every month. People want to bid [on auction items] remotely.
We’re also working on a redesign of our current websites to make the sites easier to search. For example, we want to include more definitions in the products so our search results become more relevant.
GraysOnline has also acquired a new business called GraysEscape which is a travel website for booking hotels and accommodation. We’re in the process of integrating that site and we’re about six weeks away from completion.
What are the three biggest issues facing CIOs today?
Reducing cost, being the valued business partner and delivering better systems that make a difference to the company.
What’s your favourite gadget?
My iPhone. It’s a nice personal digital assistant [PDA] with a good user interface.
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