Plant and tool hire company Hewden plans a £15m IT and business process transformation project to better serve its customers' needs and reduce costs.
The project will be led by business process managers, who will create groups of business analysts and technical specialists from the IT department, and specialists from the project's implementation partner Intennia .
Using an approach that puts the project directly in the hands of managers from business units, Hewden aims to overhaul its business processes, which will then be supported by new applications and infrastructure.
Hewden has contracted Intentia to provide application software and services. The project includes £13.8m for new IT systems and £1m for broadband and intranet improvements.
The scheme was initiated last year after Hewden surveyed its customers. It uncovered problems with product information and internal management information.
"Our customers need to get the right product at the right location. We need to be more reactive to our customer needs," said Doug Sprout, executive director of support services for the UK arm of Hewden's parent company Finning International.
Business process managers, including sales managers, asset managers and plant-hire site managers, were selected from a group involved in user research prior to the project design phase. Next month they will start a training programme, which will include aspects of IT management, before forming teams to design new business processes.
"These teams will work in groups, drawing on key users from the business, including regional directors involved with configuration of different aspects of the business," said Sprout.
The design phase is expected to last until March 2006. The systems will also require a major hardware upgrade, which will be specified in January.
During its customer research, Hewden identified a number of key performance indicators that will allow managers to measure the project's success against current benchmarks. Better management information from the new systems could lower transaction costs in the business and be measured on a regional basis, Sprout said.