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DX Group CIO Mike Sturrock's special delivery service

Mark Chillingworth | July 30, 2013
"All my career has been about rapid change," says Mike Sturrock, Group CIO of logistics specialists DX Group, the company he joined in 2011 with the express mission to put technology in the driving seat of a high-end delivery services company.

"The next step for DX Group was to branch out into bigger freight." Sturrock explains that this was not a simple case of buying a rival and subsuming it into your operations to gain market share: the demands from the customer base are very different.

"You can't put a laptop on the same vehicle as a tractor tyre. There are plenty of examples in this sector of where integrations have gone wrong," he warns.

"But we have distribution centres around the country and we can optimise the hubs we bring goods to and then the spokes that go out from there. It's a constant flow of data."

There are 12 DX distribution centres, 18 main DX centres and 15 Nightfreight centres.

"So there are opportunities to consolidate. That has technology and routing implications, but driving efficiency is one of my career themes," he says.

Nightfrieght has contracts with retailers B&Q and Debenhams, with the B&Q contract including management of the DIY chain's stock levels.

"We pride ourselves on quality of service. This is not a race to the bottom and we are not after the £2 delivery. 'Great service every time' and 'See it, own it, act on it now' are the messages from the board to the organisation; they stick to it and this appeals to me as that is how I am," Sturrock explains.

But Sturrock and his team aren't just using technology to consolidate and drive efficiency across the business: for them technology is very much seen as a way in which DX Group can remain the quality end player in logistics.

"We are already working with a number of e-commerce companies and there is growth in that area. This is especially so for retailers that want high?quality service and assurance around the identification of the recipient such as a signature or other proofs of correct delivery such as GPS coordinates, timestamps or digital pictures of the front door the item was delivered to."

So where is Sturrock in the transformation journey of DX Group? As an organisation approaching its 40th birthday it unsurprisingly has its fair share of legacy, so Sturrock is focusing on the technology strategy by using Webmethods from Software AG as an integration platform for all of the core systems at DX Group.

"We can put business process management (BPM) on to that later. Eighteen months ago we put in JD Edwards ERP, and combined with our implementation of the Webmethods suite of integration products it now forms the backbone of our unified architecture.

"By connecting all our systems to this architecture we've been able to continually improve our efficiency and service to customers while simplifying our systems estate. The ERP is cutting out a lot of spaghetti and allowing us to retire old systems."

 

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