Aggregate Industries produces and supplies construction materials such as concrete, asphalt and recycled construction aggregates. The company has been named Aggregate Industries since 2006 following its acquisition by Switzerland’s Holcim in 2005. Holcim is one of the world leaders in supplying constructions materials, operating in over 70 countries. The group specialises in investing in high growth markets, which is where it generates around three quarters of its net sales.
Aggregate Industries provides construction materials to the rail, education, aviation, highways and housing sectors. Major projects the company has been involved in include Ascot Race course, the Brunel Academy in Bristol, Cardiff City Stadium, Durham City Centre and the Olympic Park, London.
CIO of Aggregate, Mike Gibbons has been with the company for 21 years. Gibbons current aims for developing the company’s use of technology are to transfer some of the company’s existing applications over to Google Apps and to introduce cloud computing.
IT leader: Mike Gibbons, CIO.
In role since: 21 years at Aggregates, head of IT for 15 years.
Reporting line: CFO and deputy CEO.
Board level seat: Yes.
How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Monthly.
IT budget: £10 million, IT operational spend compared to company turnover as a percentage 0.8%.
IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 3,500 users.
Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 85%.
IT staff currently employed: 75.
Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 80% in house, 20% as outsourced.
IT management team and reporting structure: Four direct reports: Technical services manager (communications, servers, desk top and technical architecture), business solutions manager (business intelligence, development, project management office), IT services manager (service desk, security, problem and incident management), business services manager (business analysis, application support and etrading).
Primary technology platforms at the organisation: ERP solution Oracle JDE E1.
Primary technology suppliers: Oracle, IBM, O2, Qlikview.
Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: All telecommunications have been replaced with O2 including voice, data and mobile (previously shared between BT and O2). Qlikview replacing current Cognos BI footprint.
Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: 25%.
Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: Business process standardisation has delivered internal cost savings through FTE reduction, reduction in period end processing, reduction in DSO and speed of invoice payment. It has also delivered increased sales through delivery of customer portal creating loyalty lock in due to ease of customer experience.
Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: RoI delivered within nine months with year-on-year savings of £8 million.
Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: Business process improvement, introduced and set up order to cash, procure to pay, book to report and hire to retire process improvement concepts into the business and led order to cash initiative.
Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Introduce value and transformation opportunities through process improvement, ERP optimisation and cloud and consumerisation technologies such as Google Apps expected to replace Lotus Notes email and Microsoft office this year and CRM relaunch to support commercial excellence programme.
Strategy in the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and how social networking is impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation: This issue has needed leadership and direction to bring significant change to a traditional business with below average number of digital natives.
Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Tabled at EXCO and agreed BYOD policy in place to encourage use of employee owned technology while being secure. Awareness is key to ensuring workforce do not view as only a cost reduction initiative but is value adding and beneficial to the employees. Executives and senior management encouraged to lead through example and to use self-purchased kit and be evangelists for self service.
Technologies being considered to enable transformation: Desktop virtualisation, social media tools, Qlikview, Google Apps.
Transformational inspiration sources: All industry sectors, CIO Connect, CIO networking, CEO networking, sporting and pioneering achievement, leadership analysis.