Rapid response paves way as two companies merge

A key driver behind the acquisition of Summit Quinphos by leading fertiliser manufacturer and distributor Ballance Agri-Nutrients was to achieve massive projected cost savings. This would be primarily achieved by combining the companies’ many processes and operational functions.

The Challenge

As one of New Zealand's leading fertiliser suppliers, Ballance Agri-Nutrients (Ballance) is a 100% farmer-owned co-operative with over 18,000 national shareholders.

The company has manufacturing plants in Whangarei, Mount Maunganui and Invercargill. It also owns an ammonia-urea manufacturing plant at Kapuni in Taranaki, and Super Air, one of the country's largest agricultural aviation (top-dressing) operators.

Niche supplier Summit Quinphos (SQ) was New Zealand's third-largest fertiliser company. It complemented Ballance‘s business with its focus on organic and environmentally sustainable fertilisers and nutrients.

Datacom has managed Ballance’s IT Infrastructure since 2007, winning the work in a competitive tender from a previous incumbent. Datacom provides both operational management and project services to Ballance and has developed strong relationship and a high level of trust at both an executive and senior management level.

The Solution

Driven by strategic financial and business objectives, Ballance Agri-Nutrients acquired a 100% stake in SQ in 2008, as it aimed to gain over $2m/year in projected cost savings and other benefits. Key to achieving this ambitious objective was rolling out a rapid integration of the companies’ distinct IT infrastructures.

Therefore, Datacom had to move very quickly in the weeks that followed the announcement to merge the SQ and Ballance’s systems. Datacom’s expertise in helping clients achieve the cost, flexibility and performance advantages of streamlined business processes ensured it was able to provide an effective solution to meet requirements. This project was completed from acquisition through to the merger within three months.

The consolidation of IT systems included: closing the SQ data centre; consolidating service desk functions; linking (and later merging) the two email systems; integrating the two Active Directories; merging the two Wide Area Networks into one; relocating the SQ call-centre; and defining and rolling out a consolidated desktop build.
As a result of the integration of the two IT systems, Ballance was able to consolidate the companies’ administration processes and supply-chain functions to deliver the required business payback.


"Without Datacom, we could never have achieved what we did."

Elizabeth Harper - Ballance Agri-Nutrients


  • A successful, broad-ranging IT transformation helped deliver a $2m/year business benefit.
  • A close relationship and trust facilitated a rapid and pragmatic response to a demanding timeframe.
  • Experts in a broad range of technologies quickly and effectively solved a multi-faceted challenge in a fully coordinated way.