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Hastings Deering returns to CEED for support in Streamlining IT systems


With a desire to maintain excellent customer service, Hastings Deering embarked on an ambitious integration of their IT systems this year with the help of two students through CEED.


Heng Wei (Harry) Ting, a Master of IT student and Simon Fong, Master of Business Process Management student (both from QUT) have been combining their skills on the IT application and systems project since its commencement in March this year.


Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited (HDAL) is a dealer of the Caterpillar brand of world renowned earthmoving equipment and Driltech brand of blast hole drills.   They needed to upgrade their current service workshop IT system with a newly acquired SPI application (Service Process Integrator) provided by Empire (a Caterpillar dealer in the US) including customisation to provide the functionalities that exist in the current system but not in the original Empire SPI system.

 

Simon Fong and Harry Ting (CEED students) - Hastings Deering project 2010 
 Above: Simon Fong and Heng Wei (Harry) Ting at Hastings Deering
 during their CEED projects.


The new application is designed to integrate all the information and data related to maintenance and contracts from other systems across HDAL departments and also deliver enhanced functionality.    It is expected the new system will support more efficient delivery of customer service in the service / contracts work area through easier access to all client information and provide significant improvements in the management of this area.   The service and contract area provides the services of vehicle maintenance and customer support for Queensland and the Northern Territory. 


Manager of IT Development at Hastings Deering (Australia) Ltd said that the company had returned to CEED for support in this project as student projects have previously delivered real outcomes for the company.


“We have worked on a number of IT projects with CEED over the last few years and have found that it is a mutually beneficial way to work,” said Chris Peterson, Manager, IT Development Hastings Deering (Australia) Ltd.


We enjoy the aspect of mentoring students in a focused and valuable way through CEED’s project management approachIt works for our company that we can access smart students to support business needs and amongst other benefits, receive value from their new knowledge that they bring to the projects,” said Chris.


Chris said that the project requires Harry and Simon to implement the SPI system in a developmental environment, identify missing functionalities in the SPI system and implement the system in the contracts area in the production department.


“The project is tracking well, said Chris.  


“A systems integration is complex at any time and we are working through some of the associated challenges with upgrading existing components.   In a way, it is a real opportunity for the students when there are some hiccups along the way.  It is perhaps the best learning experience in a work environment.”


From Harry and Simon’s point of view, they see working on the project as a great opportunity to gain experience in the area that they are both interested in. 


When he first started on the project, Harry was awed by its complexity and size but now into his fourth month he is comfortable at the company and enjoying working through the project with his supervisor and IT Project Manager Teodoro Stechmann.


“I am enjoying working with our supervisor who is very generous with his time in mentoring us.  I enjoy the culture of the company too and the team around us have made it an easy transition into their work environment,” said Harry. 


Both agreed that it was fulfilling to work on a project as significant as this and that they know will deliver on a real need for the company.    The project’s completion is expected in October this year, with Harry and Simon having just been granted approval to work on a second consecutive CEED project with Hastings Deering.

 

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