CIO50 2020 #26-50 Bernard Wansink, Schiavello
Over the past two years, property development, furniture, construction and consulting firm, Schiavello Group, has transformed its culture and thinking to become a data-driven organisation.
"This strategy was timely given the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which required us to adapt our furniture business in a quickly changing market," the company's chief information officer, Bernard Wansink tells CIO Australia.
To meet these demands, the organisation recognised that it needed to evolve our procurement and management methods. The result is a client-centric ecosystem, enabled by product and technology innovation, he says.
Key deliverables included: the creating and implmentation of a custom quotation management system; the development of internal dashboards and reports allowing for real-time data-driven decisions; a platform to enabled collaboration, scalability, consistency, governance, and transparency.
"Quotation management was the most significant and challenging business and technical deliverable, executing the complete lifecycle from manufacturing, sale, delivery, and installation," says Wansink.
The browser-based platform resulted in a 91 per cent decrease in the time it takes to quote; enables quotes to be created at any time; provides real-time product specification changes, easy on-boarding of new team members; consistent business and quoting governance; and advanced BI reporting.
Wansink says each product can have 50 unique selections and up to 10 options per preference which creates over one million possible combinations and price points. Material selection, labour costs, manufacturing routing, material optimisation, and volume discounting are all formulated and calculated in real-time to provide an accurate cost per product. Questions and options are all dynamically created based on product formulation.
"We achieved this by mapping the client journey, identifying pain points, and ensuring these were delivered in early MVP [minimum viable product] releases," he says.
The tech team also moved its thinking from waterfall methodoligies - used heavily in construction and manufacturing - to an agile methodology. It implemented scalable resources through its external partners and empowered the whole team to achieve the result, he says.
"Before this project, fitting five floors with three different options could take up to 15 working days. Quotes can now be completed within eight hours with zero external communication and resource allocation," he says
"Around 150 users in Australia, the USA, Dubai, Singapore, China, and Malaysia generate 2500 quotes per month, up to 1100 unique items per quote, created, optimised, and version controlled."
Creating a good culture
As group CIO, Wansink is responsible for strategy, program and project management, business analytics, software development, infrastructure and support for around 20 businesses across the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and the United States.
Wansink says he influences his peers by communicating and demonstrating the value that the IT group brings to the table.
"I ensure we position ourselves as a business partner rather than a supplier so we can collaborate, share, and acquire knowledge that allows us to simplify, automate and provide outcomes that continuously improve the business," he says.
"The ICT group's values are based on the concepts of 'client first, one team, competitive edge', he says.
"The client is why we exist; client engagement is key to everything that we do; we need to deliver what we promise. We must commit to quality and professionalism in everything we do, have the courage to change, and admit when we are wrong.
"We need to collaborate."