Thursday, 21 September 2017 11:16

Hills partners with Cognizant on digital transformation

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Hills partners with Cognizant on digital transformation Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australian-listed IT services group Hills has initiated a digital transformation of its business in partnership with professional services firm Cognizant in a move designed to revitalise the company’s e-commerce capabilities and improve core business processes, customer engagement and operational efficiencies.

Under the contract, Cognizant will leverage its digital strategy, design, and technology capabilities to develop an e-commerce platform that it says will provide Hills' customers with 24/7 real-time inventory and self-service capabilities, including customer statements, invoices, pricing, online payments, and delivery information.

The deal sees Cognizant implementing a managed service model to enable Hills (ASX: HIL) to improve operational agility and lower costs, while re-deploying savings to fund investments in innovation for growth.

According to Hills, the digital transformation will allow staff to be more engaged with customers and vendors, and create a stronger platform to promote vendor products.

“The digital transformation initiative is integral to our ‘back to growth’ strategy,” said David Lenz, chief executive at Hills.

“The digital experience is critical in our endeavour to transform Hills from a product-centric to a customer-centric company. It’s an enterprise-wide transformation that will see Hills exit third-party supply chain arrangements early next year, to take control of our own supply chain – a decision key to the performance of the business.

“The transformation is technology-enabled but it’s customer-focused. We’re improving warehousing and dispatch processes to create a better buying experience, tailored specifically to the B2B market. Cognizant’s expertise in systems, technology and business operations will help us create world-class capabilities to better compete in today’s digital economy. Customers will see improvements in our level of service, our product range and our engagement in the market.”

Dr. John Burgin, head of Australia and New Zealand at Cognizant, says, “Winning in the digital economy requires that business leaders use the latest technologies to improve productivity, consumer experiences, business processes, and core IT infrastructure”.

“We improve consumer experiences with solutions that integrate human behaviour insights, digital strategy, design services, analytics, IoT services, cloud applications, and interactive content. That — coupled with process expertise, technology modernisation, and as-a-service business model — will allow us to enhance brand differentiation for Hills. We are pleased to be chosen by Hills to help them on their journey to provide even better technology solutions to schools, hospitals, homes and businesses.”

The planned go-live date for Hills’ e-commerce site is early 2018.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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