Store giant to spin extra web

Online supermarket pioneer Woolworths is to create a corporate website for recruiting staff and is planning an extranet for its supply chain.

Online supermarket pioneer Woolworths is to create a corporate website for recruiting staff and is planning an extranet for its supply chain.

The new corporate website will handle recruitment at a store and corporate level, says Cairo Walker, the company’s first internet/intranet manager, and should be complete by the end of this year.

Walker, who officially starts her new job on May 7, says she will also be “pumping up the machinery” on a company intranet she project-managed a year ago. The intranet links 83 Woolworths, Big Fresh and Price Chopper stores with its Wiri support office, warehouses and other facilities. Walker says it will eventually include “day-to-day workflow applications and be an internal e-commerce facility”. By late 2001/early 2002, the company will develop into an extranet facility, dealing with ordering and store deliveries, she says.

Woolworths plans to assess what its requirements are in this area first, but Walker says the company cannot continue without such e-commerce, “especially in our business”.

The company estimates the new website alone will cost “tens of thousands,” but believes it should bring a return on its investment.

Woolworths has its own development team and business analysts for the work, who will be “partnered” by outsiders to do some of the development work.

Walker has been at Woolworths for three years, at one point developing the BP “pilot” stores. She previously managed large arts projects in Australia.

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