Harris Technology gets a Coles Myer facelift

Harris Technology gets a Coles Myer facelift

Coles Myer has appointed one of its experienced retailing managers as general manager of sales and fulfilment at Harris Technology, to work alongside Ron Harris and his staff in making some extensive changes to streamline the business.

Coles Myer purchased Harris Technology in March 1999 to capture its share in the IT retail market, and has now appointed David Foster to reform the retailer's sales and fulfilment processes.

Foster will be using his 22 years of experience at Coles Myer to implement 'category management' at Harris Technology. This will break Harris Technology's procurement division into distinct categories, which will each be appointed managers accountable for their lines. Such categories, still under review, may involve the splitting of Harris' hardware division into ‘mobile and emerging technologies' and ‘input/output devices' (networking equipment). There is also likely to be categories along the lines of ‘software and licensing' and ‘server and server licensing'.

"Having a manager for each category will bring back a single point of contact for vendors and customers," said Foster. "It will simplify our relationship with vendors and help them cut costs. It will also make the management accountable for the sales and profitability of each category."

The restructure is expected to be finished by mid to late June.

Foster has also been charged with aiding Harris Technology in focusing on its core competency -- sales and marketing of IT products. The business has outsourced its logistics and fulfilment to 3PC, a division of Tech Pacific, which specialises in third-party logistics.

While Foster is taking on a large share of the management of Harris Technology, its founder Ron Harris is far from being out of the picture. He is on contract until at least August 2002 and will remain in control of seeking new business and running the company's systems. "I'm still working my 70 hours a week," he said. "I'm still very much a part of the furniture here."

Harris is all too happy to have one of Coles Myer's more experienced professionals on board. "[Foster] has had a hell of a lot of experience in retail management and sales, and is really getting his teeth stuck into this category management," he said.

"I already have learnt a lot about this industry in the short time I've been with Harris Technology so far," said Foster. "Ron [Harris] has been a great entrepreneur and built a great business. That's why he got Coles Myer's attention."

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