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Fonterra to add up to 30 SAP specialists

Posted on 31-May-2010 16:32 | Filed under: News

Opportunities in New Zealand’s tight IS employment market have just broadened with Fonterra Co-operative Group launching a search for up to 30 senior IT specialists. The search follows a change to its IT business support strategy which includes adopting SAP for further deployment as the mainstay of its global enterprise resource planning platform.

The co-operative already uses SAP to support the global sales, planning, order management, supply chain, customs and shipping documentation, payments, finance and HR systems it needs as the world’s largest supplier of dairy ingredients to the global market, with sales of more than two million tonnes to 140 countries.

It is now adopting the SAP platform for its Australasian consumer branded dairy business and for the co-operative’s warehouse and manufacturing operations which include 24 manufacturing sites in New Zealand,10 in Australia and 50 around the world.

“Right across the business, our aim is to increase efficiencies and improve performance by simplifying and integrating our business processes and systems,” says Fonterra CIO, Chris Barendregt.

“Adopting the SAP platform for our Australasian consumer business and the manufacturing operations which are at the core of the business, will continue this drive for simplification and integration as well as giving us the broadest SAP footprint in Asia-Pacific. It will give us a simpler supply chain, more visibility of our end to end performance and more opportunities to identify what can be streamlined to reduce costs and improve customer service.”

An Enterprise Agreement with SAP was signed late last year and Mr Barendregt, says that with the co-operative also about to create a business and IT integrated SAP Centre of Excellence, it is looking for outstanding IT professionals, including someone to head the new COE.

“The COE will provide business and application expertise to optimize our investment in SAP and mitigate risk around implementation and upgrades, to ensure Fonterra retains a sustainable competitive advantage and delivers true business value through the use of the SAP platform.

“These are challenging roles, but we expect wide interest among IT professionals including enterprise architects and functional consultants because what we’re doing offers real breadth of career development opportunities. Our philosophy is that IS must be a true strategic partner to the business, not just the provider of technology. We look for strong consulting skills in our people to provide this level of high quality support.”

Fonterra runs one of the largest IS platforms in New Zealand, ranking only second to The University of Auckland in terms of systems users. Chris Barendregt says he expects the Fonterra opportunity to prove attractive to expat New Zealanders, as well as other SAP professionals looking for advance their careers.