There’s now a new man taking care of Toll business. After guiding the Toll Group through the tricky business of becoming part of massive global company Japan Post, CEO Brian Kruger stepped down, replaced by Michael Byrne, a former CEO of Linfox. Byrne has been speaking about his vision for Australia’s largest road transport company, going forward. He also likes to distil the essence of the transport business down to the bare essentials.
“Our new global and sectorial analysis is pointing us towards agriculture, health and pharma,” said Byrne. “We have world-class assets and infrastructure. Recently, Toll has finalised the development of $500 million of infrastructure assets in Singapore.
“We recently bought another world-class asset in Dampier. These are long-term investments, looking forward to thirty or forty years of development in the NW Shelf. These are visionary investments, by previous management, and only coming to fruition now. They will be the cornerstones of the business going forward.”
Toll is expanding around the Asia region, and it now has 19,000 employees outside of Australia. The group is growing fast across South-East Asia, the subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa.
“We do a lot more things than parcels,” pointed out Byrne. “In the 1950s, we ran 27 vehicles, today we have 8,100 trucks – we’ve come a long way. We are just about to sign off on the $80 million for our next round of ships on the Bass Strait. This business continues to develop and evolve.
“The largest single piece of work which will be done in my tenure, no matter how long that is, is IT and an IT refresh of this business. We are putting forward a six-year program to change, globally, our IT platform, all the way from fingerprint control and telematics to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) in the cloud. We will be running it out over 53 countries.
“Why do we have to do that? Because we are not a trucking company, we are not a warehousing company. Our job is to move inventory as quickly as possible for our customer and convert it to cash. Our customers expect us to move their product so they can turn it into something measurable.”