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Building A Flagship Operation

PNC CIO's drive for excellence serves the company well as it trims $40 million and adds custom services.
The company uses E-procurement for IT purchases as well. In acquiring a financial-control system, Shack created three separate auctions: one for software, one for software plus integration services, and one for integration services alone. In the conventional purchasing model, PNC would have issued a written request for proposals to major enterprise resource planning vendors such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP.

This sort of attention to detail is typical of Shack both in and out of work. He devotes five to 10 hours a week to the United Way of Allegheny County, which he serves as a member of the board and executive committee and as head of the technology committee. There, he's taken the art of fund raising to a new level with CRM techniques borrowed from PNC. He transformed the county's United Way's brochure-ware Web site into an electronic infomediary with links to businesses in the county so that employees can make donations online instead of filling out pledge cards. "Our success in information and technology has been Tim Shack and his leadership," says Bob Krasman, executive VP at United Way of Allegheny County.

An organization can't be effective unless it has a clear vision of where it wants to be, Shack says. Part of his success at PNC has been in assembling a cadre of technology pros to work with the business units to ensure that IT and business strategies are aligned. Strategic plans are updated periodically, and performance is tracked internally and through benchmarking surveys.

As he's risen in responsibility at PNC, Shack devotes less time to project management and more to strategic and customer issues. He defines management as creating frameworks that allow predictable execution and leadership as making sure the right people are in the right jobs and giving them the tools they need. This is a formula that works, he says. "It's about having a team of people, who, without being told, want to do what's right."