Fencepost.com is seeking more staff for an upgrade of its website to offer "new and improved farm management tools for dairy farmers", says chief executive Chris Nygren.
The Fonterra division is recruiting three Java developers plus a senior developer in the same area, a business analyst and a project administrator to help handle this and other work. The project includes upgrading Fencepost's Java-based architecture and moving from an ATG Dynamo 4.1 Java server to a 5.6 version.
"We are also looking at other enhancements not finalised," says Nygren, declining to give any idea about budgets, though six IT professionals alone will quickly send the budget into six figures.
Fencepost.com aims to build an internal team of developers but will continue to use "core" partners gen-i, Unisys, Jade and Taranaki-based Digitalus.
"We want to start making a team unit for maintenance and small projects. Then, in six months' time, we hope to see how we can get on for another development. No one loses because we have been in a state of flux. We now have a better direction. We can start projects we have been holding off on," Nygren says.
The upgrade comes as Fencepost.com and RD1.com are working to simplify their operations, promising co-operation rather than duplication between the websites. RD1.com, the e-commerce site for Fonterra's Rural Supply Co, is unaffected by the upgrade. It runs as a separate business unit, using separate architecture to Fencepost.com, which specialises in information and productivity tools.
Federated Farmers has said that while farmers are happy with the Fencepost.com website, they would like more productivity enhancement tools.