by Lisa Banks

Super Cheap Auto shares IT success story

Sep 21, 2010
CareersGovernment ITInnovation

Using IT to deliver whole-of-business outcomes and tailoring IT to customer needs has been key to Super Cheap Auto’s IT strategy.

Speaking at the World Computing Congress in Brisbane, general manager of group information services, Alan Hesketh, said the group, who owns Super Cheap Auto, BCF, Ray’s Outdoors and Goldcross Cycles, runs the same IT infrastructure across each part of the organisation.

“We run a team-based corporate environment that shares a single supply chain, and emphasise common values,” he said.

The Super Cheap Auto group, which will open its 400th store this year and began 40 years ago out of Queensland, has had about 25 per cent compounded growth in the past two years.

Hesketh said the company’s growth was achieved with limited IT resources and improvements in two key areas.

“To achieve this kind of growth effectively, we’ve needed to look closely at our IT contribution so our limited resources are focused on our strategy,” he said.

“To help the team deliver, we maintain and improve in two key areas – a common organisational platform that’s making sure we have the economy of scale, and coping well with volumes means we have to keep things consistent.”

The Super Cheap Auto Group is made up of several different companies, but Hasketh said catering to individual organisational needs is vital.

“We have to make sure we’re tailoring individual store requirements. Retail is detail, and if we loose information about our customers, we need to track this on an individual basis,” he said.

“Scalability is important to us. We’re expecting our product volume growth to double or triple in the next few years. Our IT has to be scalable and easy to increase.”

Hasketh said online retailing options have also been important.

“We need to be where our customers are. Physical stores are destinations that people will intentionally go to, and we have to make they are easy to get to. We have to ask: How does this translate into an online world?” he said.

“It’s now about one customer telling millions about their experience. We need to think about how we’re contributing positively.”