Intelligrated: Visionary Leaders Dedicated to Success
Steve Crone, CIO of Intelligrated, practices becoming operationally invisible and strategically invaluable in order to create a successful company headed in the right direction.
Steve Crone, CIO/Intelligrated
Historically, companies have been purchased strictly for the purpose of growth. They didn’t buy them to dismantle them and move them off. So we were one of those companies in 2012 that got bought. We were kind of a small fish in their very large pond. There are a lot of bigger companies than us. They bought us in 2012 from the investment firm that started us. So they had us from the beginning and we were bought from Premiera with the charge of growing, which we did. Then we hit the e-commerce wave. What a credit to the founders and all of the management here. You still have to manage that growth but you have to do it with hiring engineers and building buildings. Not easy things. You can’t just get somebody who doesn’t know this stuff. They have done a great job of keeping that going. It’s a hard thing to grow. When we sell more product, we need more engineers. And then you are always trying to make them more productive – that is our job. That is the stuff we try to do. Our mission is to be operationally invisible. You want to be strategically invaluable.
We were bought by Honeywell in August of last year and now we’re part of their corporate environment. We were bought because that is an area of growth. There is a lot of synergy between the customers and the products. We are still working all of that out. We have a global plan now. We have some global sites but the plan is to do manufacturing globally. That is the market we need to get into that will take us after the Amazons of the world. The next big market for us, two or three years out, is going to be the global market.
When I started with company there were three of us in IT. I am very fortunate in that I work for a technology company. I work for a project company. So I have, historically, been able to make the case to do and to spend. They understand the project mentality. So I don’t have to explain projects to the management team here. I can talk about a plan and why you have to do this, and why that has to occur first and why I need resources. This stuff doesn’t just appear. We get it done by adding. That has been the fortunate part. We were fortunate that we were told to grow and given the resources to grow. Everything we run is what I like to call IT Tier One Technology. We are upgrading to Oracle on Labor Day weekend. We are able to attract great talent.
Employees in IT now - about 100. All of our ERP is hosted out of New Jersey.
When new employees start here at 8AM on Monday, they have everything they need. They are productive the minute they sit down to work. We are an engineering company, so we calculate every hour of work. We track our time. Time/Quality/Cost - that is a universal triangle. Chris Cole is a great spokesperson for Intelligrated.
LEAD Magazine: Give me a brief description of what you do.
Steve Crone: Day to day I give direction to the team. I set the direction for what we are going to do in the future. There is nothing here going on that I have not had my hand in.
The goal is to set direction. There is a reason we have a mission statement. All of this stuff did not happen by accident. We did things the way we did them for a reason. You stick to that reason and continue following down that path.
You have to hire good people and fire bad people.
LEAD Magazine: What are some of the technological victories you have experienced?
Steve Crone: Buying companies and then converting their ERP’s up to date, converting to Oracle. Staying current on enterprise technology is a big and continuing victory.
LEAD Magazine: What are some of the challenges?
Steve Crone: The whole people and retention aspect. The people business is the big challenge, always is and always will be, especially as the labor market tightens. We want to make the employees as valuable as possible, both for their own personal growth and for the company growth. The message is be as valuable as you can to YOU and then you will be even more valuable to us, as the company.
LEAD Magazine: Tell me about your vision for technology in this region.
Steve Crone: You have to ask, “Can we become like at Atlanta, some level of a tech center?” We have growth like that, but can you be KNOWN for that? That helps everybody.
How do we create that vision? Some of the stuff you are doing with LEAD and with comSpark, does that create an interest so that it becomes more known for that?
It is interesting; the CIO of 5th/3rd became the CEO of 5th/3rd. He is a big believer in technology. Sid Deloatch is now the CIO. He has a lot of action going on. He may be a person you want to engage. He is an old GE friend of mine. I will get you connected to him. Get him to go to comSpark. Get him to be a speaker.
After 9/11, there was a 10-year downturn of the economy. When those planes flew into the world trade centers, it was a plane leased by GE into a building that was insured by GE with engines built by GE. It was a bad day for GE. The whole aviation industry took this giant hit.
LEAD Magazine: Would you like to be a speaker on a panel for comSpark?
Steve Crone: Yes, I would love to speak.
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