The board of Kiwifruit giant Zespri has approved the business case and costs for the delivery of the first phase of its massive SAP-based "Horizon" transformation programme.
The programme will work to replace ageing internal systems and processes, including in Zespri’s finance, supply chain, sales and planning, and grower enablement functions, using SAP's "Rise with SAP" transformation as a service to standardise and automate processes across the organisation.
The budget for the programme, which will be implemented from next August, had not been publicly released, but growers have been told it is in the region of $160 million over the three-to-four-year period.
"The board is exercising robust governance over what is a significant investment," a grower newsletter said. "This includes review from a board working group, plus independent advice and independent quality assurance."
The work is being supported by a Deloitte-led consortium.
Chairman Bruce Cameron said Horizon would modernise Zespri systems, some of which are twenty years old.
“The investment is essential for our ability to supply the highest quality kiwifruit to our customers and consumers and to continue to enable us to optimise returns to the industry,” Cameron said.
Zespri will take a phased approach in order to manage programme delivery, with each phase requiring its own business case.
The approval of "tranche 1" meant the Horizon team would now build, test and deploy new finance, integrated business planning and core supply chain solutions.
These will provide the foundations to transform Zespri's operating model through robust, scalable business processes and systems, leveraging data for better performance.
The second phase will modernise systems and processes across wider areas of grower enablement, quality management, the extended supply chain, sales and operational planning.
Solutions in these areas would be implemented in 2023.
“As an industry we have expanded in scale and complexity, but our systems have not kept pace," Cameron said.
"This constrains our potential for future sustainable growth and creates operational risk."
The new business processes and systems created benefit through digitalisation, scalability and standardisation, he said.
"It’s exciting to be underway with the build of tranche 1.”