Hannaford has an IBM ES9000 and an IBM RS/6000 SP, which run the administrative systems and data warehouse, and several NT servers. Operating systems-level software includes CICS, AIX, and UNIX. Programming is primarily in COBOL and Java. The company is migrating from IDMS to a DB2 database management system. Applications software includes Lawson's Human Resources and Payroll modules, PeopleSoft's financials component, and IBM's Tivoli for network and systems management.

There are 2,500 PCs across the company, including 800 at corporate headquarters. The company's communications equipment is Cisco and Nortel-based, with an ATM infrastructure.

Typical projects last 12 to 18 months. Staff members recently implemented a company-wide labor cost management system at all stores that includes activity-based costing to manage actual against planned labor costs. This was developed in Java, under the Netscape Navigator browser, in a client-server environment, using the ATM network.

Another recent project was the development and rollout to all stores of SIP, the Strategic Information Process. This is a decision support system based on sales data collected at the check-out scanner and matched with an Average Cost Inventory System (ACIS), which pinpoints the inventory levels needed at specific stores, so that Hannaford can regionalize product offerings, tailored to local interests.

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Corporate headquarters is an office building in a campus setting in a rural area. Staff members work in private cubicles. Official hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with a flextime schedule. The average workweek is 40 hours. Staff members travel less than 5 percent of the time. A couple of staff members telecommute for between one and four days a week. The average commute is ten minutes. Says Homa, "I used to commute across the Tappan Zee Bridge, which took about an hour against traffic in New Jersey. Now I have a five-minute drive along the ocean." Dress is business casual.

Benefits include a flexible program for medical and dental coverage and prescription drugs. The company pays 70 percent of the cost of medical, dental, and vision insurance. The company pays for life insurance for employees and short-term disability. Long-term disability, and dependent life insurance plans are available. After one year of service, employees over 21 years of age become members of the company-paid defined benefit pension plan. Retirement programs include a cash balance plan and 401(k) savings and investment programs. The company matches up to four percent of an employee's contribution to a 401(k) plan. The company provides tuition reimbursement and awards up to 50 scholarships annually to employees and their dependents.

The company observes eight to ten and a half holidays, depending on location. Employees earn two weeks of vacation to start, increasing to three weeks after three years, four weeks after twelve years, and five weeks after twenty years. Employees are entitled to discounts at many area stores, such as for tires. There is free coffee in the company cafeteria and free parking. Social activities include an annual picnic lunch. In 1992, there was a company downsizing when the Wellby Pharmacy chain was sold, because of the supporting staff for this subsidiary in the corporate office. A voluntary severance program and early retirement took care of most affected employees. Says Shirley Bloom, Director of Benefits, "We work hard, but are close to a large playground, with mountain climbing, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing nearby."

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Arthur Hannaford started Hannaford Brothers. He sold fresh produce from his family's farm from the back of a cart, and soon brought on his brother, Howard. The company expanded into the warehousing business, then into retail groceries. In 1971, the company hit $1M in revenues and went public on the New York Stock Exchange (HRD). In 1987, they reached $1B in sales.

They were delisted when Delhaize America acquired them. The acquisition was completed in July, 2000, making Hannaford, which retains its corporate headquarters in Maine, part of the fifth-largest U.S. grocery store chain. Delhaize America also includes Food Lion, with 1,144 stores, Kash and Karry, with 123 stores, and Save 'n Pack, with 18 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Delhaize is a Belgian food company. Hannaford's 150 Hannaford Brothers and Shop and Save stores are concentrated in New England, from New York to Maine. The company closed or sold its Southern and Mid-Atlantic stores during the acquisition, as required by the Federal Trade Commission. Nine hundred employees, called associates, work at corporate headquarters.

The company continues its aggressive use of technology to expand its services. While its foray into a web-based grocery-delivery service, HomeRuns.com, ended in the sale of that unit, they continue to act as the wholesale supplier to the business. More recently, they have signed on as a supplier through Priceline.com

Competitors include A&P, Shaw's and Wal-Mart, but none of these has the concentrated presence in New England that Hannaford has, nor offers the same combination of high-end merchandise for reasonable prices.

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There are 150 technical professionals at Hannaford Brothers, all working at corporate headquarters. Job titles range from Trainee to Senior Analyst.

The average level of education is between a Bachelor's and a Master's degree for Hannaford's current technical staff. The average level of experience is eight to ten years. Says Homa, "Twenty-five percent of our staff have worked at one of the company's stores sometime during their lives. We almost always take bright people from the stores who want to move into IT because they already have retail experience." The company looks not only for technical aptitude, but also for a cultural fit when hiring. Continues Homa, "We train people internally for technical skills. We look for candidates who will work hard and dig in to do what needs to be done." The quality of life in Maine is a big draw for candidates. Homa expands on this theme, "People work hard here so they can enjoy a balance of work and life. That's why they don't leave."

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Job Title





Decision Support Systems (DSS) Analyst  BA  4-6 years  Microstrategy DSS Agent, Architect, Web, and Admin. experience, version 7 Scarborough, Maine
Communications Specialist   2-5 years AIX, NT, Cisco, Korn Shell, Perl  
Information Security Specialist BA/BS   RACF, CICS, IDMS, TSO  
System Svcs. Specialist-NOS/Messaging BA/BS   NOS Messaging Server, NT installation  
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  • Reuters Online News, "FTC OKs Delhaize America-Hannaford Deal," July 25, 2000
  • Washington Post, "Food Lion Outbids Ahold for Hannaford," August 19, 1999
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