“Well, you know, we’re fighting the good fight. So, what’s up?” Dunston picks up a legal pad, a pen, and his half-full bottled water and eases into a seat across from Sedgewick. “Bill, I want to get back to that Web  services  discussion  we  were  having  the  other  day.  I  want  to  see  if there’s a fit for some of your ideas on Web services to some of the strategies and business initiatives I think we’ll have to embark on over the next two years. Now, you know I’ve talked about using a few strategic acquisitions to beef up our R&D and product pipeline, right?” “Yes, Bob, and I’ve got a team working on an integration strategy that will allow us to very quickly absorb acquisition targets, first for financial reporting purposes, and then complete integration of all order entry, prod- uct and customer master data, fulfillment and logistics processes, as well as other key business processes and functions, too.” Sedgewick’s  face  lights  up  as  he  explains  this  point.  He  is  clearly excited about implementing corporate strategy using his information man- agement organization, processes, and capabilities. “We’ll have a draft strat- egy document to show you early next week.” Dunston nods vigorously, clearly eager to hear this information from Sedgewick.  “Good,  I  like  that.  We’re  already  evaluating  M&A  targets based on a rigorous profiling methodology, and we should have a short list ready by the end of the month. I want you involved in the due diligence process as we get that short list pulled together.” “In  addition,  though,  you  know  we’re  under  continued  pressure  to drive productivity and improve operating margins. I’m concerned with our core businesses—their organic growth is slowing and margins are deterio- rating,  so  I’m  looking  at  a  number  of  programs  to  reverse  these  trends. Inventory management could be improved. Reducing cycle time in manu- facturing is important. Ultimately, I’d like to shift a large percentage of our business  to  a  make-to-order  model,  much  like  Dell’s,  versus  our  current inventory-intensive make-to-stock model.” As  Sedgewick  rapidly  scribbles  notes,  Dunston  continues.  “Take  inven- tory management, for example. We need better visibility across our entire sup- ply chain to effectively manage inventory. That means tapping into a bunch of different systems in order to expose inventory information—components and stock,  work-in-process,  and  finished  goods—at  every  point  in  our  supply chain. If we can’t see it, we can’t measure it and reduce it. I’d like to get your help to make that program happen. You need to talk with John about this, but  let  him  know  we’ve  talked  and  you’re  to  help  drive  this  initiative.” Sedgewick  nodded.  John  Bentley  was  the  Chief  Operating  Officer  (COO) responsible  for  manufacturing,  R&D,  and  overall  operations  for  the  com- pany. Bentley was fairly receptive to new ideas if they could drive the metrics of the business, so Sedgewick was confident about defining and implementing the processes and systems to help better manage the company’s inventory. A Day in the Life of a CIO 3 74188_WY_Marks_01  2/5/2003  4:08 PM  Page 3