Reliance Worldwide Corporation is on an enviable growth trajectory, with a large component of its strategy being by way of acquisitions.
In the local region, Denis Forbes, IT Manager APAC at Reliance Worldwide Corporation, says: “Our organisation is transitioning to the enterprise side of town. Staff growth over the last five years hit 20%.”
And for the IT group, that poses some challenges. He says: “IT is a small group, globally, for RWC’s market capitalisation. My five people look after RWC’s 15 facilities across ANZ – covering manufacturing, administration and communications. My role is largely responsible for maintaining the relationships with RWC’s plant and equipment manufacturers, based mainly in Italy.
“We have less and less time to get our hands dirty. We have to rely more on partners to help evolve the IT in our existing operations as well as integrating each of the new businesses being brought into RWC. It’s the pressure of doing more with the same resources, of having to focus on what’s broken rather than the future,” he says.
RWC looked to reduce the strain, by outsourcing its procurement needs. “We hadn’t even got to the size and stage of being able to create a technology roadmap, or do bulk orders. As each new staff member came on board, we had to do individual orders. Our purchases were ad hoc, which wasn’t very efficient and couldn’t attract discounts. And further complicating the process is that device offerings are largely role based and split across different vendors – HP desktops to engineering, the portable Microsoft Surface for execs and sales staff, and Apple Macs are preferred by IT and marketing,” Denis says.
A procurement partner had to “be on the same page, to get what we’re about straight away. I never had time to explain,” he says.