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The value of communication DIGITAL REPORT 2020



The value communi

e of nication


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We speak to Piers Shore, Chief Information Officer at Fonterra, about how the company’s IT team effectively communicates its directives across the company, gaining further insight into areas of opportunity and possible creative solutions 04


ased out of Auckland, New Zealand, global dairy co-operative Fonterra exports products to over 140 countries, reaching one

billion people every day. It employs approximately 20,000 people around the world and is owned by 10,000 New Zealand farmers and families, many of whose roots in the industry span generations. Piers Shore has been the Chief Information Officer at Fonterra for over a year now. From life sciences, to heavy manufacturing to consumer products, he has worked across multiple marketing and IT roles that focus on international business and digital strategy and transformation. “The first thing you do as an incoming CIO is understand the state of play,” Shore explains. Effective communication across the business is at the core of Shore’s strategy for Fonterra. When he first joined, Shore and his team ran a


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Fonterra Here to Everywhere CLICK TO WATCH



07 company-wide IT survey, asking all

strategy and business strategy should

employees to give feedback on the

be complementary, not competitive.”

current IT tools and services avail-

The main problem, according to

able to them. Their answers provided

Shore, was that Fonterra’s IT capa-

Shore and his team with strategic

bilities were “an inch deep and a mile

focus areas, and a baseline against

wide.” He and his management team

which they could measure future pro-

recommended an urgent transforma-

gress. “We had good response rates

tion programme, focusing on three

that indicated they really valued the

key areas. “We need to articulate IT

IT services and tools that enable their

in non-technical terms to ensure it

jobs,” he continues, “but it also high-

is understandable to anyone, at any

lighted areas of improvement. We then

level, from any department, rebuild-

articulated a very practical IT strategy

ing our infrastructure and operations

that was aligned with the overarch-

including a significant enhancement

ing business transformation. The IT

of our business partnerships, and w w w.c o mpa w w ny wente bsite. r ra . com



improving our diversity and inclusion,”

reinforce a digital foundation to sup-

explains Shore.

port their transformation initiatives.

He is a firm believer in building

With the spread of COVID-19 now a

deep, long-lasting relationships with

reality for it’s people, communities and

key suppliers and strategic partners.

way of life, Fonterra’s new strategic

To this end, he has recently overseen

partnership with HCL is more impor-

a process to review and consolidate

tant than ever. Fonterra employees are

vendors across his Infrastructure,

now increasingly reliant on technology

End User Compute, Security, and

and mobility to do their work. The pan-

Service Delivery estate into a single,

demic highlights the critical need for a

long-term strategic partnership with

rock-solid infrastructure at Fonterra.

HCL. HCL Technologies will bring

This partnership will also extend

together Co-operative’s IT infra-

HCL’s New Zealand presence to three

structure under one umbrella and will

offices within the country and will bring

around 60 new jobs to the Waikato

Salesforce, SAP and Amazon, it brings

region, as the local support services

us much needed global technical exper-

for Fonterra employees will be based at

tise, which will also help the evolution

its Hamilton Delivery centre.

of the technology ecosystem of New

Fonterra is committed to adding

Zealand as a country,” Shore explains.

value not just to customers, but to its

“It’s very important when you are

surrounding community. “By partner-

on a transformation journey that you

ing with major tech firms like Microsoft,

communicate,” says Shore. “Not just


Piers Shore Piers is the Chief Information Officer for Fonterra. He moved to Aotearoa in 2018 to join Fonterra after numerous technology and digital roles across the globe, mainly in life sciences. During his time at Fonterra so far, he has led a comprehensive review and reset of the IT strategy, service delivery and operating model, including the following: •M  anaging the IT budget and project portfolio with management remit •O  ptimising infrastructure, architecture, ERP environment, data management and cybersecurity protocols to provide a robust, stable platform for future innovation •B  uilding innovation capabilities to drive company-wide productivity and efficiency He has introduced three core priorities to strengthen Fonterra’s core infrastructure and operations, improve business partnerships and develop Fonterra’s people with a focus on diversity.

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Should digital transformation be on your agenda, or running it?

“It’s at the core of what we’re trying to do here: rebuilding our baseline infrastructure and foundation. Once you have that, it becomes something you can leverage to drive future transformation” — Piers Shore, Chief Information Officer, Fonterra

your stakeholders. It will vary based on their area and their drives,” he continues. “Just talking tech may not resonate with everyone, but application to business areas will.” It is important to Shore that he is visible across the company as the CIO. This includes visiting manufacturing and R&D sites to understand how technology is used on a day-to-day basis and hearing directly from people how IT could be leveraged further. He also visited the company IT helpdesk and listened into calls to understand

with your own team of global, highly-

what people struggle with. Additionally,

skilled IT professionals, but with

Shore runs regular CIO dialogue ses-

stakeholders across the business. You

sions, both virtual and face-to-face,

can have an elegant, highly technical

with the global IT team. The feedback

strategy but if people anywhere in the

and suggestions that come from these

business, at any level, can’t articulate

interactions directly impact Fonterra’s

simply what your plan is, I would ques-

IT strategy. “It’s important that you have

tion the possibility of success.” Shore

the integrity to reach out to employees

takes a “cascade approach”, regularly

in a transparent fashion and ask them

interacting with Fonterra’s executive

to benchmark your performance,” says

management to ensure teams across

Shore. “At the end of the day, we’re all

the company are informed on the

one company and want what’s best. It’s

state of IT strategy and are able to

vitally important we work as a team.”

seek assistance in areas pertinent to

Shore’s focus on visibility extends to

them. “It’s important to communicate

how Fonterra presents to the world;

on the basis of the value IT adds to

he maintains positive relationships w w w.c o mpa w w ny wente bsite. r ra . com


Explore how Fonterra is powering end to end business efficiency through digital transformation

with senior management and CEO’s of major global tech companies to ensure Fonterra has access to world-class innovative minds. The global dairy co-operative relies on developing strong partnerships to ensure it is participating in the global tech economy. “In the life sciences industry, it is particularly important that you partner with selected strategic entities that progress your pipeline,” explains Shore. “I wanted to take the same approach with Fonterra.” By connecting with a tech giant like Microsoft,

“You can have an elegant, highly technical strategy but if people can’t articulate simply what your plan is, I’d question the strategy’s success” — Piers Shore, Chief Information Officer, Fonterra

SAP and Amazon, Fonterra ensures its data strategy is optimised. Global brands also provide expertise around cutting-edge processes. EY has been a key partner in Fonterra’s integration of a Lean Six Sigma methodology into IT, training green belts, and assisting in framework implementation. “Having an internationally recognised standard that our IT employees can aspire to and get trained upon is phenomenal for development,” explains Shore. “We’ve achieved some significant results, not only absolute financial savings, but time savings and significant productivity enhancement.” w w nte r ra . com





Projects pioneered through a Lean Six Sigma framework have resulted in Fonterra reducing the number of unallocated laptops in the warehouse by around 40% and reducing the average time to approve project invoices by 70%


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Year founded

$20.1bn Revenue in US dollars

20,000 Number of employees

Projects pioneered through a Lean Six Sigma framework have resulted in Fonterra reducing the number of unallocated laptops in the warehouse by around 40% and reducing the average time to approve project invoices by 70%. Shore hopes to dramatically increase the usage of Six Sigma in IT to drive enhanced productivity and efficiency across the business. Fonterra received a 2019 SAP Innovation Award for a joint IT-HR project called Project App. Alongside


SAP, it sought a way to improve the vis-

becomes something you can leverage

ibility of projects and initiatives at the

to drive future transformation.”

company so people with the right skill

In summary, Shore says “I am

sets could get involved. “The solution

extremely excited about the role IT

was to build an online tool that used

can play in helping to support the new

SAP cloud in which projects could be

Fonterra strategy. We are part of the

registered and the skill sets advertised,”

business and we wish to leverage

explains Shore. “It’s a simple idea:

technology to drive great value to our

we’re leveraging technology to match

stakeholders and Fonterra customers

opportunities with people. It’s at the

around the world”.

core of what we’re trying to do here: rebuilding our baseline infrastructure and foundation. Once you have that, it w w nte r ra . com



Profile for Business Chief ANZ

Fonterra April 2020  

Fonterra April 2020  

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