Excellence Awards: Project successes bind it all together

The savings, simplifications and efficiencies resulting from clever integration dominate the 'most successful project implementation' category of the Computerworld Excellence Awards.

The savings, simplifications and efficiencies resulting from clever integration dominate the "most successful project implementation" category of the Computerworld Excellence Awards.

The $8 million Project MIA at Fonterra has seen the dairy giant integrate 18 different systems into a single Oracle-based system.

A shared services approach at the Waitemata and Counties Manukau DHB, meanwhile, is bringing cost savings and efficiencies and MED's Personal Property Securities Register is providing a single accessible register for security interests.

Project MIA (manufacturing integrated applications) involved 120 implementation staff and 2500 users across 16 geographically dispersed sites. An integrated suite of common applications covering finance, HR, asset maintenance, planning, production, finished goods management and data warehousing was created. This enables a single source of information, rules and applications, and the delivery of a repository of common data (data warehouse) to cut duplication and support costs and provide plant and product analysis and KPI measures for operations. The project -- which finished earlier this year -- took 15 months to complete and claims to have been delivered $100,000 under budget.

MIA is also intended to improve supply chain visibility particularly for sales and marketing operations.

Fonterra's southern operations general manager, Alan Bennett, says Project MIA succeeded because of involvement from stakeholders, such as company staff.

The creation of Fonterra involved at least five different dairy firms in the South Island, he says, each of whom had their own legacy systems. Cutting out these legacy systems, leaving a single one now means "a standard version of information, one version of the truth", he says.

The Te Whiripapa Project at Waitemata District Health Board has been hailed by the board as "the best major IT implementation" in the organisation’s history.

The multimillion-dollar project follows the merger of its information services department and systems with that of Counties Manukau DHB to create a shared services entity. A fundamental strategy is to move to common applications across both organisations, to cut costs while maintaining or improving patient care.

Te Whiripapa involved a range of IT deliverables such as a new Oracle database and server, new reporting applications, patient coding systems, a terminal server farm and network infrastructure between the two boards.

Central to this was the implementation of the PiMS patient management system already used by Counties Manukau, which much of the new equipment was installed to support. PiMS -- on which other clinical systems will be built -- replaces a variety of systems used at Waitemata, giving it an enterprise-wide patient management system. Counties Manukau now uses the Oracle business modules, such as financial and HR, of Waitemata.

Waitemata says such integration has reduced software maintenance costs -- estimated in excess of $300,000. There is less manual collection of data and its capture more likely to be a once-only affair.

North Shore Hospital IS manager Adam Sawyer says the Te Whiripapa Project means patients can be tracked and cared for better and the hospitals should make fewer mistakes.

The third finalist is the Ministry of Economic Development’s Personal Property Securities Register, as reported on July 7 in the government category. Billed as New Zealand’s first fully electronic register, the site offers a single accessible register for security interests other than land and claims to "create greater certainty in business transactions".

The sponsor for the "most successful project implementation" is BearingPoint.

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