Interview: Mike Sturrock DX Group CIO aims at high value

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DX use the Software AG WebMethods platform across the business, ensuring all information sits on a central bus and provides a single view of the business and its information.

"Under the roof every parcel scan is, via Wifi, straight onto the bus in real-time," Sturrock explains of the collection of information in the sorting process. "We can now harvest all our data and have a single view of the customer.

"A new returns portal triggers a collection, the billing and the handheld devices the drivers use is integrated, so that every event in the company ends up as a message on the bus."

Sturrock and his team are experimenting with Google Glass to understand the innovation opportunities and disruptions. The CIO describes Glass as lacking the robustness for serious consideration, but he believes the software innovations that will follow are where the exciting opportunities will arise.

"The Heads Up Display concept is brilliant and it is pushing the envelope, but we haven't found the killer App yet," he says.

Recently Sturrock has been involved in customer bids and retention. Global logistics rival UPS was challenging DX for its work with Men's Warehouse, the technology offering of the logistics suppliers was key to the provider Men's Warehouse chose.

"We went in and pitched a project to them with five drops of technology every month to fix their concerns," Sturrock says. "We want to be in a position though where we are not being challenged and for us to be on the front foot." To get on to that position Sturrock is encouraging innovation throughout his team and the organisation.

Post IPO

So how much has changed since DX became a listed company?

"The chief exec's and our position is that we are still running the business the way we were, we are not focusing on the share price, so there's been no change in strategy. We all joined as a board to re-invest in this business and as a board we are as one on that."

Away from world of logistics Sturrock can be found living the life of outdoor adventure, as stated in the introduction, hours after our meeting he was flying to Norway to sail to the arctic circle.

"Personal leadership is about how you lead yourself and give yourself a stern talking to. With extreme adventures there is a lot of planning and preparation and we have a lot of challenges ahead of us," he says of his trip to Svalbard, an archipelago at 82 degrees North and inside the Arctic Circle.

"I relish this challenge." Sturrock has presented the scale of the adventure at his sons' primary school to inspire the kids, again, an issue he cares greatly about. "We have done a lot of training as in the ice you can end up like pepper in a grinder, with you are the pepper.  We will be on a watch of three hours with two dog watches. What you learn from this is to trust and be trust worthy."

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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