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Securing the future: Hills’ digital transformation set to impress

NZ Security Magazine, Feb/Mar 2018

Back to growth - David Lenz, CEO of Hills LimitedBack to growth - David Lenz, CEO of Hills Limited


Hills is looking boldly into the future – re-engineering its digital customer experience, announcing new key appointments, revitalising its Auckland trade centre and getting serious on enterprise solutions.


Customer-centric transformation

Hills Limited has embarked on a major digital transformation programme in partnership with global professional services leader Cognizant to revitalise the company’s e-commerce capabilities and improve core business processes and customer engagement.

“The digital transformation initiative is integral to our ‘back to growth’ strategy,” said David Lenz, Hills’ Chief Executive Officer.

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

That decision will result in a new centralised distribution centre at Seven Hills in NSW – a key physical enabler for the digital transformation.

The digital transformation initiative is intended to deliver big benefits for Hills customers and partners. “Customers will see improvements in our level of service, our product range and our engagement in the market,” said David.

Bringing to bear its considerable digital strategy, design, and technology capabilities, Cognizant will develop an e-commerce platform that will provide Hills customers with 24x7 real-time inventory and self-service capabilities, including customer statements, invoices, pricing, online payments, and delivery information.

The platform will be made accessible across all devices, and give users the ability to search and compare products, track their deliveries, and review technical data.

It is expected that Cognizant’s managed service model will enable Hills to improve operational agility and lower costs, while re-deploying savings to fund investments in innovation for growth. Hills believes it will also allow staff to be more engaged with customers and vendors, and create a stronger platform to promote vendor products.

“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,” added David.

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

“We improve consumer experiences with solutions that integrate human behaviour insights, digital strategy, design services, analytics, IoT services, cloud applications, and interactive content,” he said. “That — coupled with process expertise, technology modernisation, and as-a-service business model — will allow us to enhance brand differentiation for Hills.”


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New-look Auckland trade centre

Hills’ New Zealand General Manager, Chris Whiting, and his team are excited about the possibilities the new e-commerce platform will create, and how it can increase their share of the New Zealand market.

They recently completed their own ‘bricks and mortar’ transformation project, revitalising the Auckland trade centre to provide a better sales experience for customers. 

The centre now boasts a new look showroom to showcase more products, a new video demonstration suite, to provide live product demonstrations and updated training facilities to enable more sales training for integrators, as well as technical certified training. It’s a big step forward for a company already boasting a formidable reputation for training.

In addition, a new Enterprise Business Development team has been created to promote Hills' range of enterprise solutions, spearheaded by the Genetec portfolio.

The new team joins an organisation of over 700 employees across 18 branches in Australia and New Zealand, and coincides with the appointment of Jourdan Garde as General Manager, Growth Markets Security, Surveillance and IT, for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

Based in Hills’ Port Melbourne office, Jourdan will be responsible for further expanding the company’s presence in the enterprise security market and developing sales opportunities with channel partners as part of a strategy to cultivate big ticket projects. He returns to Hills after working for Genetec in a APAC business development role.


New Australian Application Development Centre

Jourdan’s appointment comes just months after Hills and Genetec announced plans to create the Genetec Australian Application Development Centre to support the growth of both companies’ joint security integration business in the Australia and New Zealand market.

Named by Genetec as Best Distributor and Best Development Partner in Asia Pacific, Hills is one of a few strategic Genetec partners worldwide that has been selected to support systems integration and delivery services.

“Based on the success of our partnership to date, both Hills and Genetec are keen to announce this new initiative which will accelerate growth across ANZ,” said David Lenz. “Our focus will be on expansion into application solutions for the industry verticals of retail, banking, public safety, government and transport.”

“By collaborating with Genetec to develop a strategic plan that drives sales growth for the next three years, with a strong focus on pre-sales capabilities, we’ll be able to provide a state-of-the-art, purpose-built security solution for the diverse markets we serve,” he added.

“Genetec and Hills share a common vision for delivering unified, innovative security solutions that help ‘Protect the Everyday’,” said Philippe Ouimette, Genetec Country Manager – Australia and New Zealand.

“We are excited to open the new Genetec Australian Application Development Centre, which will allow Australian and New Zealand customers to have custom and optimised applications in their security and operational environments. Together with Hills, we will be very well positioned to cultivate and win new business opportunities in ANZ,” he added.

“World leading technology from Genetec, supported by Hills expertise and technical support, is a winning combination for customers—we can create unified security solutions that are customised, future proof and ensure best practices,” said David.

Maintaining a strong presence across the security, audio-visual, communications and health markets, Hills has positioned itself over many decades as a ‘one-stop shop’ for integrated building technology solutions. The digital – and physical – transformation programmes the company is now undertaking are a clear indication that Hills is more focused on the decades to come.

The planned go-live date for Hills’ e-commerce site is early 2018. For more information, visit



Hills delivers on key projects to transform its business

Defsec Supplier News, 31 Jan 2018


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