Recently, kiwifruit giant Zespri announced that it would be embarking on a four-year programme to digitise its systems to become more efficient and effective. This ‘Horizon Programme’ aims to digitise key areas of the cooperative's mission critical system across its interdependent supply chain.
Following a competitive tender process, Zespri said it would begin work in 2020 with an unnamed external partner who would provide expert support to design, build, acquire, test and deploy the cooperative's new business processes and solutions.
The first release of these was expected in 2021 with full scope of the project, including more far-reaching change, not expected to be completed until 2024.
"When complete, this project will improve our ability to collect and analyse data throughout the supply chain and make better decisions around our shipping and market allocation," chair Bruce Cameron and CEO Dan Mathieson told shareholders in the cooperative's annual report, released this week.
"The majority of our processes and systems were designed over 20 years ago. Since then our industry has evolved dramatically in scale, international presence and complexity but our investment hasn’t always kept pace."
The Horizon programme is to fundamentally overhaul the foundations of the business. In mid-2018 Zespri flagged plans to invest up to $70 million in its systems over five years, however, the budget for the Horizon Programme is not known.