Systems integrators trim staff

Infinity Group is dispensing with a number of managers as it reorganises along northern and southern regional lines.

Infinity Group is dispensing with a number of managers as it reorganises along northern and southern regional lines.

Managing director Stewart Robb says a final number of redundancies has not been arrived at and will depend on “working through” changed roles and possible redeployments.

There is inevitable downward pressure on staff levels, “recognising the reality of today’s [lack-lustre] marketplace,” Robb says. “A more nimble and responsive management structure” means a better chance of business growth.

Robb denies the suggestion that the redundancies are due partly to loss of a large expected government contract. "There's nothing in that," he insists; if anything the company picked up an encouraging increase in work from that quarter and had no major disappointments.

Gen-i is another systems integrator that has started the year with some trimming, but managing director Garth Biggs says it is a matter of "making positions redundant, rather than people". While the positions of 10 staff have been declared surplus to requirements, there are currently seven vacancies on the company's books and the displaced staff are welcome to apply for these, he says.

"It's something we do from time to time to readjust to our customers' needs, or as a consequence of increased efficiency," he says. "We made seven redundant last year."

Five of the most recent abolished positions are in finance, marketing and internal IT; the others - three in Auckland, one in Wellington and one in Christchurch - are in the company's core business and reflect skills that are no longer in such demand from the customer base. Biggs declines to be more specific, because to say in what areas gen-i no longer needs so many staff might give away information valuable to competitors.

"It's hardly a night of the long knives," he says. "At the end of last month we had 533 [permanent staff] and 48 contractors working for us."

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