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6/26/2008
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CIO Values: Greg Marr, VP, IT And Facilities Management, RedPrairie

"IT has an obligation to find a simplified approach to a business problem, and everyone should be challenged to find the most elegant solution."

Career Track

GREG MARR, VP, IT and Facilities Management, RedPrairie

GREG MARR
VP, IT and Facilities Management, RedPrairie
How long at current company? 11 years

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: I worked for a pharmaceutical distributor that built a new warehouse. I participated in all aspects of the project: location selection, facility design, and material handling layout. This interaction with the operations group was enjoyable and challenging. It set me on the path of always working to bridge the gap between business users and IT.

Most important career influencer: I was greatly influenced by the time I spent working in Japan. It took me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to experience a different culture and business environment than I was used to domestically. The lessons learned there have been invaluable to me as RedPrairie has become more global.

Decision I wish I could do over: I believe you are defined not only by your successes but also your mistakes, so I'm not sure I would do anything over. I'm comfortable with what I have become.

Vision
The next big thing for my business will be ... Over the next three to five years, we will see advancements in the area of environmental impact of supply chains, based upon the work being done today, making a significant impact on companies of all sizes.

Best advice for future CIOs: Understand the business issues facing senior leaders. CIOs can bring value through their ability to drive strategic initiatives. IT has an obligation to find a simplified approach to a business problem, and everyone should be challenged to find the most elegant solution.

On The Job

IT budget (approximate): Our current budget comprises 2% of total revenue.

Size of IT team: Twenty-two employees support applications, infrastructure, and help desk.

Top three initiatives:

  • Updating a professional services automation solution to help drive efficiencies while providing greater visibility to the executive team for forecasting resource needs.
  • Updating our HR management system.
  • Creating a knowledge management system. We're working to identify the information available in the organization, then we'll evaluate solutions that let the community earmark information for quality/importance, making employees more productive by letting them find what they need when they need it.

Personal
Colleges/degrees: BS, Oklahoma State University; MBA, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Favorite leisure activity: Hacking around a golf course and fishing

Best book read recently: Powerful Conversations, by Phil Harkins

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... teaching at a university, making an impact on young minds.

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