the chief financial officer (CFO)


Case Study

Anita Campos’s office phone buzzed. It was Tom, the chief information officer (CIO) of MedDev, Inc., a medical supplies company. “Hi, Anita, this is Tom. I just left Gary Franz’s office and I need to meet with you to discuss some concerns he and I have regarding the successful implementation of our project. Would it be possible to meet some time this afternoon? I have asked Gloria to set up some time for us to meet. You should be seeing an Outlook meeting request come through shortly.”

Anita was expecting this call. Tom had told her that he would be in an audit committee meeting with Gary Franz, the chief financial officer (CFO) of the organization. “Sure, I’ll look for the meeting request. Is there anything in particular I should be reviewing prior to our meeting?”

Tom had recently hired her as an internal organization development consultant to support a multimillion dollar enterprise resource planning (ERP) project. The scope of the project included all global operations across Europe and North America.

“Well,” Tom said, “It might be helpful to provide you with some background information right now. As you are aware, this project is the largest capital investment project the company has undertaken in its long history. As the CIO and project director, I feel a tremendous pressure to ensure we position the project for success this time around. I just left the monthly audit committee meeting with representatives of our external audit firm. As we discussed previously, the audit firm has been tasked by Gary to ensure we are on track for project success. In their most recent update, they highlighted an area of organizational risk and have recommended an area for change management focus. I would like to share the document with you and bring you up to speed on their recommendation.”

“Oh, good,” Anita said. “Can you tell me a little more about the change management focus area, perhaps provide me with some context?”

“The auditors have recommended that we implement a change readiness assessment for the organization,” Tom said. That, Anita thought, should not be a problem. She had conducted similar assessments for former clients; however, she still wasn’t sure of the context for the recommendation in this situation.

Tom added, “Gary has requested that we provide a high-level plan, approach, and timeline for execution for the change readiness assessment at our next steering committee meeting. I thought we should meet at the earliest possible.”

The steering committee was comprised of vice presidents (VPs) from different functional areas, including information technology, finance, legal, marketing, research and development, customer service/e-commerce, sales, operations, product development, and supply chain management. The role of the steering committee was to provide approval on project strategy and procedures, including timing and budget.

“Sure,” Anita said, “I’ll look forward to our meeting.”

To prepare for the meeting, Anita began reviewing some of the documents that defined the organizational structure of the company. She also thought through the historical background of the company.

Tom had spent his entire career rotating through various positions in operations and information technology (IT) at MedDev. Prior to taking on his recent assignment within IT, including a move from operational to IT roles, he had witnessed extensive changes in IT systems. He survived through various cycles of boom and decline that the company had experienced over the years.

Within the past year, he was named project director for the ERP project, the largest capital project undertaken within the organization to date. Within the organizational structure of MedDev, Tom reported directly to the CFO, Gary Franz. Anita had recently been hired as the change management leader (organization development) dedicated to supporting the project. MedDev had never had anyone dedicated in the role of “internal OD consultant” for any projects prior to her coming on board for this project. Anita’s role was created based on the advice of XL Infotech, a well-reputed technology and global IT management consulting firm. Both MedDev as well as XL Infotech had a stake in the success of this project. For XL Infotech, it was the first time a component of their technology was being implemented in the medical devices industry.

In her internal role, Anita reported directly to the CIO. However, indirectly she was responsible for advising multiple levels of the executive leadership team on all human capital and workforce transition issues. The levels assigned to her included the steering committee, the project management office (PMO), the project team, and all management and staff impacted by the project.

MedDev was the global leader in the medical devices industry. It had grown rapidly via acquisitions, resulting in the use of many disparate systems across the supply chain. Various technologies were in place from order entry to areas of procurement, planning, demand forecasting, planning, customer service, and inventory management.

The five-year growth projections for the organization were extremely promising, but the company was facing pricing pressures from global competitors and new entrants to the market.

The world headquarters for MedDev were located in a suburban location in northern Nebraska. Housed alongside the corporate headquarters was also the operations facility, where products were assembled, packaged, and shipped. Customer service, product development, research and development, quality, and sales and marketing departments were all located in an adjacent facility.

The headquarters had been built in 1977 and it was a simple non-assuming structure. The corporate campus was set in a small town and was completely invisible from the main intersection closest to the campus. Unless you grew up in the area or were directly involved in business transactions with the organization, you would never know that this global company was even located in this small community.

MedDev had a long and distinguished history of having been a major supplier to world renowned hospitals, leading medical centers, acute care, and long-term care facilities. The chief executive officer (CEO), Michael Zucker, started the business out of his garage while completing high school. Innovative products, smart marketing strategies, and a large market for the products allowed the company to grow rapidly. In many ways, it exemplified the often touted American business success story.

Michael Zucker is a key decision maker and influencer of policy, not only in the industry but also in many ancillary industries. The company’s chief operating officer (COO) also has seen the organization through its various stages of growth. The chief technology officer (CTO) has been the person responsible for delivering and receiving several patents for many of the products, which have delivered a competitive advantage to MedDev over the years

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