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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.

"We don't want to give the driver pressure, we want to give them the right number of items that they can deliver. So we will use the analytics to look at the deliveries of that day and how they are going. We want to know if a driver is not going to deliver all their items so that we can make a change, because the more times we have to handle an item, the greater the cost impact on the business," he says of items being returned to depots.

"I bring my attitude to safety to DX from easyJet. Founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou used to say: 'If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident'. So there were never any corners cut at easyJet and we developed roster systems for the aircraft maintenance. Safety is a culture, not a set of processes," he says.

Sturrock's budget is currently 2.5% of revenues and he has a strong ability to invest at present.

"I met the chief executive and the chair of the venture capitalists and talked about the benefits of technology investment when I was considering the role, and they have backed their words with cash," he says.

"Savings are being made by degrees as we retire old systems and we have become better at supplier management. There are plenty more savings to come."

The position of the CIO and the IT team has changed within the organisation.

"We were a bit on the back foot and had been seen as a cost. Now we are providing benefits and reducing costs. So next year the investment levels will remain up. There will be another acquisition or exit at some time, so there is no flat earth plan, we just build for the future and the long term," he says of the possible exit of DX Group's backers.

"People do now come to us first as we are good trusted partners," he says, adding that his department is the 'custodian of the technology strategy', while controlling all technology spend across the organisation.

Socially sensible
As an organisation that handles sensitive documents and items, Sturrock has worked to inform the organisation of how to use social media.

"It is an outbreak of common sense. We took the Tesco strategy model of stating: 'If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it on Twitter'." Wi-Fi access is also strictly controlled.

Sturrock's IT team is split across the key DX Group sites of Iver in Middlesex and Northampton, and he has a Nightfreight team in Bootle, Merseyside. With an improved data network and video conferencing, this 90-strong team — 70 in DX Group and 20 at Nightfreight — can work effectively together with a minimum of travelling.

 

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