MHD magazine article Moving with the times Snowflake

Moving with the times – from MHD magazine

Peter O’Connor

Data warehouses are far from new. The term itself was coined back in the 1970s, and repositories for data amassed from a range of sources that can be used to inform business decisions have been part of Australia’s corporate high-tech landscape for almost as long.
With data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) the primary foci for organisations of all stripes and sizes, it’s an opportune time for businesses to review their data warehousing strategies, to ensure they’re well positioned to support burgeoning demand for insights.
Here are some tips for maximising the value of the data warehouse.

  1. Adopt an ‘as-a-service’ model

What’s the primary role of your data warehousing team? Is it to manage infrastructure or to support the development of data programs that drive efficiency and profitability across the enterprise? If you haven’t yet adopted an ‘as a service’ model, you’ll likely find it’s the former. Management and administrative tasks – think partitioning, scaling, maintenance, back-up scripts and the like – are likely to consume a significant portion of your team’s time. As a result, there’s less time for them to work on projects that add value to the enterprise. Adopt an as a service model and all that changes. Data and service protection, database management and security are taken care of, leaving staff free to focus on exploiting data to help the organisation succeed.

  1. Broaden your horizons

Data no longer comes in two flavours – structured and semi-structured. If your organisation is not ingesting data from a wide variety of sources – enterprise applications, mobile applications, the internet, APIs and the Internet of Things (IoT) – then you’re at the back of the pack. Today’s data integration technology makes pulling these data sources together to exploit the insights they contain a much more straightforward matter than once it was.

  1. Implement self-service data analytics

Historically, data analytics was the remit of small specialised teams within organisations. If business units wanted queries run or information analysed, it was a matter of lodging a request and waiting for the results to be returned. Delays were a common but unavoidable occurrence.
User-friendly data analytics software has turned this model on its head. An increasing number of Australian enterprises are adopting a self-service model, whereby employees are given access to the data warehouse and provided with tools to extract insights for themselves.
The benefits of democratising data in this way can be significant. Bottlenecks can be minimised and results extracted and acted upon more quickly. Conversely, businesses that fail to throw open the data warehouse risk being left behind, as their more nimble counterparts gain a competitive ‘information advantage’.

  1. Foster a data-driven corporate culture

Empowering employees to access and manipulate data is a vital step towards the establishment of a data-driven corporate culture, in which up-to-date information is used to inform every business decision.

“Exploiting the full potential of the corporate data warehouse is vital to the process.”

Data-driven decision making has superseded decision making based on intuition or gut feeling in at least a third of Australian boardrooms, according to 2016 research by PwC.
ICT staff can play a vital role in fostering this culture at all levels of the enterprise. Instead of acting as gatekeepers for the data warehouse, they should be regarded as trusted guides for their colleagues throughout the organisation.

  1. Control the quality

If leveraging data across all areas of the enterprise is the aim – and it should be – it’s vital to ensure its quality and integrity. Establishing a rigorous data governance regime will ensure what’s extracted from the data warehouse is clean, trustworthy and correct.

  1. Embrace concurrency

Old-school data warehouse professionals were required to be masters of scheduling. Their challenges invariably included finding time slots when large jobs could be run without monopolising finite processing resources and disrupting other activities.
Migrating to a cloud-based, as-a-service data warehousing model puts paid to this issue. Eliminating the competition for resources allows IT staff to run multiple jobs concurrently and deliver results and insights more efficiently to stakeholders.

  1. Measure performance

Improving the efficiency of the data warehouse begins with finding the right metrics with which to measure its performance and its cost to the organisation. It makes sense to include management overhead in the calculations. Many tasks and procedures which require management intervention under an in-house model can be executed automatically under an as a service model. The time savings can be considerable, over time, and should be included in any reckoning of the relative costs and benefits of the two models.

  1. Doing more with data

In today’s digitally driven business environment, data has been dubbed the new oil. The insights it contains can help organisations become more efficient and profitable. Exploiting the full potential of the corporate data warehouse is vital to the process and Australian organisations which fail to do so may find themselves struggling to keep up with their data-driven competitors.
Peter O’Connor is the vice president of sales, Asia Pacific and Japan, at Snowflake. For more information visit

SSI SCHAEFER announces 2018 Distributor of the Year

Better Storage Systems has won SSI SCHAEFER’s 2018 Distributor of the Year Award. The award was announced and presented to Darren Bykersma, Better Storage Systems managing director by Brian Miles, regional managing director of SSI SCHAEFER, at the annual distributor meeting held in Sydney recently.
Darren Bykersma said: “We are so pleased to win this year, particularly in our 10th year of operation. The whole team at Better Storage has worked so hard and deserves to share the award and celebrate. I want to thank my team – together we conquer,” he said.
Winning in 2018 is the third time for Better Storage Systems. The annual award recognises the distributor’s excellent sales performance, its promotion of SSI SCHAEFER products and its willingness to work in partnership with SSI SCHAEFER. It follows a very successful year where Better Storage delivered a large number of substantial installations.
“We congratulate the whole Better Storage team on winning this award in 2018. Better Storage has excelled this year by delivering some great customer installations and growing their business,” said Brett Thirup, general manager, sales and engineering for SSI SCHAEFER.

Emergent Cold acquires Melbourne-based Montague Cold Storage

Texas-based Emergent Cold has announced the acquisition of the Montague Cold Storage facilities in Melbourne.
According to Emergent Gold, this acquisition complements its broader strategy of acquiring and developing a global network of cold chain businesses.
Montagues was founded in 1948, by William (Bill) Montague OAM by purchasing a carting operation that turned the Montague name into a fresh food provider. The first orchard was planted at Narre warren, Victoria in 1950. Innovation continued with the introduction of Controlled Atmosphere storage to Australia in 1967, followed by their first cold storage facility at Allansford in 1989.
“We want to thank all the executives and staff who have contributed to this wonderful business over 60 years.  The Montague family and management team will be focussing our energy and future endeavours in the horticultural industry, where there are many exciting opportunities both nationally and internationally,” Ray Montague, Chairman of Montague Group said.
Emergent Cold was founded in 2017 with the vision to build a global cold chain solution for multinational customers.  Emergent Cold has grown through a combination of business acquisitions and greenfield developments in emerging and developing markets.
“We are delighted to welcome the Montague Cold Storage team to the Emergent Cold network.  Combining Montague’s assets with our national service capability will further strengthen our offering to the Australian and International market,” Neal Rider, CEO of Emergent Cold said.

The changing face of logistics in the Australian automotive sector

While Australia’s car manufacturing industry has closed after more than a century, other opportunities are opening in the sector for design and logistics.
In recent years, we have seen the closure of Toyota, General Motors Holden, Ford and Mitsubishi’s manufacturing plants. Since reports first surfaced of the planned closures back in 2013, many analysts have tried to quantify the subsequent fallout.
For the majority, there can be no glossing over the negative impact that the closures will have on the Australian economy. A report by the University of Adelaide estimates the industry collapse has put up to 200,000 jobs at risk across the nation and taken $29bn out of Australia’s GDP annually.
Global management consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group, now ranks Australia the worst performer among 25 nations assessed in its worldwide manufacturing cost-competitiveness index. Costs are higher than in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland and Australian manufacturing wages rose 48% in the past decade while productivity fell, it said.
The good news, however, is that Australia is reviving its automotive sector and making major contributions to the economy. For example, Toyota, Holden and Ford have all said they recognise the excellence of Australian vehicle designers and engineers. Ford has retained its production development centre and testing facility after it ceased manufacturing in 2016 and Holden has hinted that it will retain its global design studio.
In addition, the closure of automotive manufacturing has resulted in an investment in warehousing and distribution centres. For example, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have launched a shared warehousing and logistics operation in Australia realising synergies to be replicated and expanded across the world.
The new Alliance National Parts Distribution Centre is one of Australia’s largest automotive logistics facilities and managed by CEVA Logistics. At over 37,000 square metres in area, it will use industry-leading technologies and processes for the fast and efficient movement of automotive parts and accessories. “This is a milestone development and a future test case for their global operations,” said Adam Duncan, CEVA’s General Manager Sales – Contract Logistics.
Stow Australia is proud to have designed and installed the major component of the warehouse; the racking, conveyor and mezzanine floor solution. The mezzanine floor has 3 tiers and provides approximately 70,000 storage locations for automotive parts and accessories. A further 29,940 pallet locations were installed as part of the racking component.
Another investment example in warehousing is the new ‘state of the art’ headquarters and parts warehouse for truck market leader, Isuzu Australia. Stow Australia was successful in winning the competitive tender to design, manufacture and install the multi-functional racking and storage facility for Isuzu, following the completion of a successful Brisbane-based warehouse racking project for Isuzu in 2013/14. The storage solution includes more than 5000 pallet spaces for high bay, oversize and cab racking and more than 20,000 bin locations over two tiers.
According to Isuzu Australia Limited’s Chief Operating Officer Phil Taylor, the new facilities will equip the market leader for years to come. “The state-of-the-art facilities will perfectly reflect our operations in the future – as Isuzu aims to continue improving on 29 consecutive years of market leadership.”
Despite concerns amongst the general public, the automotive industry is still very much alive in Australian logistics.
At Stow Australia, we provide industry-specific products and solutions. This includes high quality European designed and manufactured steel selective racking to bear heavy loads, multi-level mezzanine storage areas for small parts, variable sized racking for odd-shaped stock and deep lane storage for automotive parts that don’t always need to be accessible. Every Automotive custom-designed solution is created with the customer to ensure it is highly efficient and fit for purpose.
Are you searching for the most efficient automotive warehouse storage solution? Talk to the experts. For more information about our products and services, visit the Stow website or call on 1800 438 786.

Frasers Property secures prime industrial land in Melbourne

Frasers Property Australia has settled on a 63.4 hectare prime industrial land parcel valued at approximately $40 million. It is located in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Epping.

Situated at 410 Cooper Street, the property stretches through to O’Herns Rd in the north and is abutting the Hume Freeway. It will be located between two full diamond interchanges, allowing unparalleled access to Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
“The Epping acquisition is a significant strategic purchase for the business and will further strengthen our position as one of the leading providers of prime industrial product in Melbourne. It also compliments Frasers Property’s other well-located industrial land holdings in Melbourne’s south east and west.,” Anthony Maugeri, General Manager Southern Region of Frasers Property Australia’s Commercial and Industrial division said.
The new site will accommodate up to 250,000 sqm of built form, enabling Frasers Property to service existing and new customers.
Neighbouring properties to Frasers Property’s Epping land parcel include Melbourne’s Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market and large land occupiers such as Mainfreight, Mission Foods, Chemist Warehouse, Visy, Coles, Bluestar Logistics, Linfox and Toll.

Storage, telematics and communications specialists sign on for MEGATRANS2018

Headland Machinery, specialist in quality, reliable automated vertical storage and retrieval systems, will showcase its wares and market offerings at MEGATRANS2018 this May.
With a strong history of supplying and servicing machinery to a range of industries across Australia and New Zealand, the Australian-owned and operated business is a welcome fit to the inaugural supply chain and logistics trade event in Melbourne.
Also joining the line-up is vehicle and logistics technology specialist Caltex Telematics.
Caltex Telematics’ fully integrated technology to provide insights on the performance of both vehicles and drivers. The company’s systems are configurable and can identify potential issues early to help keep fleets running safely and efficiently on the road.
Simoco Wireless Solutions will bring wireless solutions and communications technologies expertise to MEGATRANS2018.
The business specialises in building communications networks for industry sectors where reliability, integrity and clarity are of utmost importance, including utilities, transport, government infrastructure and public safety.
Find out more about exhibiting at and visiting MEGATRANS2018 here.

Container expert SCF signs on for MEGATRANS2018

SCF, one of Australia’s largest container providers, will exhibit at multi-modal supply chain event MEGATRANS2018, which takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10-12 May 2018.

SCF specialises in new and used container hire, sales and design.

The company supplies the Australian transport, resources, construction, defence and chemical storage industries, and manages more than 13,000 containers throughout Australia as well as a depot network spanning Australia’s major cities including Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Karratha, Perth and Sydney.

SCF’s product range spans tanks, containers for site storage, accommodation and intermodal equipment, including refrigeration, side doors, pallet wide and high cube containers.

SCF joins the diverse list of exhibitors signed up for the show who cover everything from transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling, infrastructure and more.

Packaging scholarship launched

The Packaging Council of New Zealand (PAC.NZ) is launching a new annual Scholarship program in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Packaging that will give a packaging technologist, designer or engineer in New Zealand the opportunity to complete aDiploma in Packaging Technology, to the value of $9,000.
“The association is extremely proud to be able to offer the scholarship to a New Zealand packaging professional each year,” commented Harry Burkhardt, President, Packaging Council of New Zealand.
“The packaging industry is dynamic and diverse, offering career opportunities across a wide scope of disciplines. PAC.NZ has been representing businesses in the packaging industry in New Zealand since 1992 and recognises that investment in the packaging industry starts with investment in its people. We strongly encourage everyone in the industry to apply for this scholarship.
“The Diploma in Packaging Technology is a Level 5 qualification which is internationally recognised for those wishing to pursue a career in the packaging industry or for those who are already in the industry and who wish to extend their knowledge and expertise. The Diploma in Packaging Technology prepares students to take responsibility for packaging operations at any level through the supply chain. The qualification is comprehensive, and provides an opportunity to study the principles of packaging, packaging materials and packaging processes.”
Diploma in Packaging Technology students come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and are typically experienced practitioners or managers in technical, sales/marketing, QA, purchasing, engineering or design.
Entries are now open with submissions closing on the 23rd of February 2018. The winner of the inaugural Packaging Council of New Zealand Scholarship will be announced at the 2018 Packaging & Processing Innovation & Design Awards, which will be held alongside the prestigious international WorldStar Packaging Awards on 2 May.

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