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SpartanNash said Seah already has been working with the company for over two years as an independent contractor in its enterprise applications office.

SpartanNash names Yu Ying Seah to lead IT applications

Enterprise technology veteran tapped to modernize business systems delivery

Grocery distributor/retailer SpartanNash has appointed Yu Ying Seah to vice president of IT global applications.

In the role, Seah will be responsible for developing and driving the applications roadmap, overseeing the delivery of business system initiatives from conceptualization to execution and maintenance, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash said yesterday. He reports to Arif Dar, senior vice president and chief information officer.

Yu Ying Seah-SpartanNash.jpgSeah (pictured left) already has been working with SpartanNash for over two years as an independent contractor within the enterprise applications office.

“Our IT applications are a key component to delivering operational excellence and insights that drive solutions in this rapidly changing marketplace,” Dar said in a statement. “Yu Ying has played a vital role in delivering leading-edge products and services that include convenient, technology-enabled experiences for our customers, store guests and associates across the company.”

SpartanNash noted that Seah has played in integral role in modernizing the way its IT team delivers services to the business. Leveraging his experience as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, the company said, he organized the IT applications team around key projects, including pricing and promotions automation; supply chain transformation; the integration of enterprisewide human-resources timekeeping and people management systems; and the launch of a transportation management platform. In addition, he more than doubled the number of IT applications projects delivered annually during his tenure.

Seah brings more than 20 years of experience in managing diverse global enterprise applications, including programs involving organizational and process change across a broad spectrum of business areas, SpartanNash said. Previously, he spent five years as senior director of IT applications at SC Johnson, where he was charged with transforming a legacy applications technology footprint, and before that over six years at Tyco, most recently as global SAP and business intelligence director.

The appointment of Seah comes amid a companywide effort by SpartanNash to sharpen operations and business processes and execution, with technology playing a pivotal part. “We’re looking at both process work with our frontline employees as well as technology solutions — largely IT solutions early on — that help us to become more efficient and effective,” President and CEO Tony Sarsam told Supermarket News in a recent interview. “And then, in the longer run, we’re looking at what are other types of tools, automation tools, that can make us more effective and efficient in the future.”

Through its core food distribution segment, SpartanNash distributes to all 50 states, supplying 145 corporate-run supermarkets in nine Midwestern states — which make up its retail business unit — and over 2,100 independent grocery retailers nationwide. The company also distributes to 160 military commissaries and over 400 exchanges in United States and internationally.

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