Zespri picks Deloitte and Sysdoc for business transformation

25 August 2020 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read

Fruit company Zespri has penned a contract with Big Four professional services firm Deloitte, management consultancy Sysdoc and system provider Zag to deliver a new $160 million digital transformation programme. The Horizon Programme aims to deliver greater operating efficiency and effectiveness for the company, which is still operating on legacy systems made for a much smaller trade output.

According to the latest data, the global kiwi fruit market is worth around $7.6 billion. The global harvested area of kiwi fruit stood at 260,000 hectare, increasing by 5.1% against the previous year. In general, the total harvested area has indicated a continuous expansion from 2007 to 2018, with the figure increasing at an average annual rate of 4.7% over those eleven years.

One major beneficiary of the rapidly growing market is Zespri International, the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit. Formed from a co-operative of kiwifruit growers in New Zealand in 1997, the Mount Maunganui headquartered group specialises in a portfolio of kiwifruit varieties such as SunGold, Green, and Organic.

Zespri embarks on multi-year transformation programme

As the company looks to scale its operations to accommodate the massive growth the firm has seen over the last two decades, Zespri has inked a deal which sees Deloitte heading up a New Zealand based consortium of professional services firms – including Zag and Sysdoc – to oversee the $160 million Horizon Programme. The four-year digital transformation is Zespri’s largest-ever investment in processes and systems, designed to fundamentally overhaul the foundations of the business.

Deloitte will be the design and implementation partner for the ambitious programme, with some of Zespri’s systems now 20 years old and designed to support “a much smaller industry, fewer varieties and a smaller market footprint,” said Zespri Chair Bruce Cameron.

Horizon is a four-year programme focused on modernising Zespri’s systems and process across finance, growth enablement, supply chain & logistics, sales & marketing, and operations – upgrading how Zespri’s key business processes and systems support its business.

Among the plans, Zespri’s consortium will look into increasing abilities to capture real time data in its global supply chain management, helping to draw insights and make better decisions. This will aid tracking and tracing shipments, freight planning and forecasting, and the selection of storage locations to meet future demand.

According to a statement by Zespri, this will enable “more proactive management of fruit in the supply chain for quality issues,” while growers will see enhanced value from “streamlined, efficient processes underpinned by robust data and scalable systems.”

Deloitte won the competitive tender process together with people-focused consulting firm Sysdoc and IT firm Zag. Gareth Glover, a partner at Deloitte and consortium lead said the consortium will draw on global experts and industry expertise from other parts of the world. However, he added, “We will stay grounded in who we are – a consortium of local practitioners who are invested in the success of one of our nation’s most iconic brands.”

In 2018, Zespri came out on top as Company of the Year at the annual Deloitte Top 200 Awards in Auckland. The event recognising business excellence in New Zealand, saw judges recognise the kiwifruit giant's innovation and long-term strategy success, pointing to its profitability and shareholder returns.