Business Memory Lane – IT Profiles A Decade Ago (E)

Business 13: LINFOX

Senior IT executive: Peter Hourihan, president, supply chain solutions, implementations and CIO
Reports to: Undisclosed
Operating systems: Windows XP/2000/NT, IBM AIX, OS/400
Database systems: MS SQL Server, Sybase
Applications: MS Exchange, SAP
IT staff: 250
IT budget: Undisclosed

A NEW entrant to the MIS 100, transport company Linfox is enthusiastic about technology’s impact on its business. Indeed, the company’s official journal, Solutions Asia Pacific, proclaimed in July 2007 that it possesses a high-tech edge. This edge comes, in part. from the Supply Chain Solutions Group, including specialists in IT, supply chain design, logistics operations and financial analysis. The team cites SAP’s warehouse-management tools as an important element of its work and has linked the software to GPS receivers as part of a freight-management system to track orders electronically from receipt to delivery. Linfox has also explored the use of handheld devices and radio frequency identification iRFIDIthrough a pilot project which investigated how electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) could be helped by the use of RFID and global barcode and numbering standards. It says the goal of the project was to use the technology to provide paperless proof of delivery of pallets.

Business 14: ONESTEEL

IT executive: Michael Dines. GM e-commerce and IT
Reports to: Geoff Plummer, CEO
Operating systems: Windows XP/2000/NT
Database systems: MS SQL Server, Oracle
Applications: EMC, MS Exchange, SAP
IT staff: 110
IT budget: Undisclosed

ONESTEEL, WHICH has been absent from the MIS 100 since 2005, keeps its IT cards close to its chest. It struck a three-year outsourcing deal with CSC in 2006, following in the footsteps of fellow BHP alumni BlueScope Steel and BHP Billiton, both of which have long-term arrangements with CSC. Since then. the company’s IT initiatives have not reached the public domain_ Since completing its acquisition of Smorgon Steel in 2007, OneSteel’s IT department has presumably been experiencing all the fun of integration work. Indeed, the company’s half-year result for the period from July to December 2007 hints at the likelihood of such work with its mention of “synergy targets”. These targets are likely to include consolidating the two companies’ IT infrastructure. There will certainly also be IT implications from the decision in February to close two bar mills, in Newcastle and Melbourne, in favour of boosting activity in other facilities. Restructuring should be substantially completed by early 2009.

Business 15: HEALTHSCOPE

Senior IT executive: Undisclosed
Reports to: Kevin McCann, chairman
Operating systems: Windows XP, HP Unix, HPN Database systems: MySQL, I MX
Applications: CA ARCserve, Oracle
IT staff: 13
IT budget: Up

HEALTHSCOPE, AUSTRALIA’S second-largest private hospital operator, signed a 514 million deal with listed specialist IT company, IBA Health Group, last December. Over the next 71/2 years, IBA will provide Healthsope’s 45 medical and surgical hospitals with comprehensive hospital information solutions and ongoing support and services. The package will aim to optimise cost and revenue synergies throughout Healthsope’s integrated delivery network and provide additional services including development, implementation and deployment. The agreement will enable Healthscope to continue the vertical integration of its hospital, pathology, clinic and primary care business, and allow it to standardise core patient and clinical management systems, reducing systems management health information delivery costs. Healthcare and IBA will collaborate on developing and deploying electronic billing to Medicare Australia and point-of-care health insurance claiming across the Healthscope network.