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CIO50 2021 #26-50: Andrew Ramsay, Fisher & Paykel

  • Name Andrew Ramsay
  • Title General Manager Information Technology
  • Company Fisher & Paykel
  • Commenced role August 2019
  • Reporting Line EVP Marketing and Digital Transformation
  • Member of the Executive Team No
  • Technology Function 71 staff, 40 contractors, six direct reports
  • In his role as general manager for information technology Andrew Ramsay has lead a team that deployed three significant technology projects for Fisher and Paykel. They are the launch of the company’s connected IoT platform, new ecommerce sites in five global markets and analytics to improve product quality.

    IoT platform

    In the last two years Ramsay’s team created an IoT platform and mobile app to enable control of both F&P and Haier appliances including kitchen, laundry and HVAC applications. They collaborated with GE Appliances and in-house product development teams to create a secure platform that is highly extensible. All appliances can receive Over-The-Air (OTA) updates with new features and controls, and is integrated with other home automation systems. 

    “At F&P we relentlessly focus on being the most human centred appliance and that we enhance experiences at the heart of the home.  The SMART Home platform is a mission critical to our strategy as we will use the platform to create unique features, services and eco-system experiences to our customers.  This is our future!” Ramsay says.

    E-commerce sites

    In 2020, Ramsay’s team launched e-commerce sites in markets that were heavily impacted by COVID-19 – UK, Europe, US, Canada and South East Asia. They quickly pivoted for existing work to deploy seven e-commerce sites on Salesforce Commerce Cloud in eight weeks to ensure that sales were maintained and grown in these markets. It was an acceleration of an existing direct to consume strategy in these markets.

    F&P is present in many countries globally and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the retail channel was hit heavily as sales dropped. We stopped a number of project to concentrate on enabling e-commerce for a number of markets on our Salesforce Commerce Cloud web platform.  This was a key part of turning round sales in many markets and saw F&P experience high growth in 2020-2021,” Ramsay says.

    Analytics initiative

    In 2020-21, Ramsay’s team added sensors throughout the company’s products to track performance and use of F&P and Haier products. This data has been ingested into the cloud data platforms and combined with the warranty claims data. The data is coded using an AI bot (Fault Bot) which is providing instant information to the quality engineers and manufacturing lines on quality issues and recommended actions.

    “Quality is critical to our customer experience as well as quality issues are extremely costly.  The Fault Bot and analytics have resulted in a 8% reduction in warranty claims in the first 12 months and this will increase as the Bot continues to be improved,” Ramsay says.

    IT leadership

    Ramsay’s focus is to ensure the IT organisation has high levels of alignment to the company’s vision and purpose, values and strategic initiatives.  

    “I create an IT strategy this is socially constructed with my team, the executive team and other business leaders. I engage the executive team and business leaders early to build and test the alignment and gain feedback on what are the measures that demonstrate value so we can continue to iterate our plans and show performance. This has resulted in a value framework to measure how IT is improving and delivering more. The framework covers the speed that we deliver new features and projects, the quality of the solutions, the secureness of our platforms and how happy the IT team is,” he says.

    “I have also aligned the IT budget and cost lines to 12 capabilities (e.g. data and analytics, security, IoT, ERP and ecosystem apps etc) that IT deliver so can have positive discussions on where to invest with the executive team and board. The recommended investments need to show alignment to F&P strategic initiatives which has increased understanding and trust of the executive team and a focus on investment discussion as opposed to cost efficiency.”

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