Dairy leaders have chosen a well-known IT industry figure to oversee an audit of all the IT systems in each of the three companies involved in the industry's mega-merger.
Ex-long serving Wang chief executive and former Gateway New Zealand managing director Doug Wilson has been appointed as an IT consultant to the proposed Global Dairy Co - or GDC, as it is known in the dairy industry.
Wilson, who has been working as a consultant for over a year, is overseeing a request for proposal (RFP) that has just gone out to the Big Five accounting and consulting firms calling for services to audit all the IT systems and infrastructure used by the Dairy Board, New Zealand Dairy Group and Kiwi Co-operative Dairies.
The audit – essentially an information-gathering exercise – paves the way for decisions on rationalisation and who will be the major IT suppliers when and if the merger goes ahead by June of this year (see IT set to milk dairy merger).
Wilson confirmed his appointment but said at this stage it was not appropriate to comment.
Computerworld understands the RFP went to all the Big Five. Arthur Andersen, one of the five, authored a recent report evaluating the value of Dairy Group and Kiwi’s milk production.
The merger will be the largest ever in this country’s history and decisions on IT infrastructure will be made harder by the fact the two dairy companies are coming in as equal partners rather than one larger swallowing a smaller one.
Dairy Group and the Dairy Board are heavy Oracle and Compaq users while Kiwi uses Jade and Compaq, with some Oracle databases.
Meanwhile, the Dairy Board has appointed former Enza applications support manager Ron Peake as chief information officer for its consumer goods business unit NZ Milk.
The Dairy Board is yet to appoint another CIO for its combined global operations and ingredients business, NZMP, after a reorganisation of its IS department into these two teams.
The merger agreement outlined by Global Dairy Co shows NZ Milk being structured as a separate company from the merged entity, although still 100% wholly-owned by GDC.