Redundancies confirmed at Harris

Redundancies confirmed at Harris

Harris Technology has made a large number of redundancies following a decision to overhaul its business model. Sources close to the company claim about 80 staff have been cut.

Managing director, Craig Dower, confirmed in a prepared statement that redundancies were made last week but was not willing to provide further details.

However, sources close to the company have claimed all positions in the retailer's corporate, government/education and sales support teams had been dropped. They put the redundancy figure at 80, nearly a quarter of its 300 employees.

"State managers were literally escorted out of the door," the source said. Dower said the restructure was the result of a lengthy review of the entire business, which commenced earlier this year following his appointment.

ARN reported back in July that the retailer was expected to close its corporate client division due to falling hardware margins. Dower acknowledged its enterprise business had been an area of concern.

"What we found was that our approach to servicing some customers - predominantly those in the enterprise market - was not effective," he said. But he insisted the company would not abandon its enterprise sales. Where possible, Dower said redundant staff would be offered jobs within the retailer's parent company, Coles Myer, and its subsidiary, Officeworks.

"We will be offering extensive support services to those who are not redeployed, including outplacement programs to help them find the next steps in their career," he said. "A number of new positions have also been created with a view to improving our customer service and we have promoted several people internally to these new roles."

HT had previously maintained several divisions including an online retail store as well as a technology services business. The company also offers project and consulting services for hardware and software installations.

Under the new plan, Dower said Harris would concentrate on three business channels: a website for online ordering; contact centres for telephone ordering; and business centres.

"Essentially we have refined and simplified our business model, and focused on the things that made Harris Technology successful in the first place," he said. "We have made these changes to remove duplication, improve customer responsiveness and create more efficient processes."

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