IT operations overhaul at Monster Cable has simple start

From an ROI sheet to complete insight into what happens at his company's warehouses, Monster Cable CIO Oded Haner says it's all about planning and communication.

Award winner: Oded Haner, CIO, Monster Cable Inc.

Award-winning project: Implemented a distribution and inventory management system that allows for shipping accuracy at a low fulfillment cost.

Hear from our award winner
Oded HanerListen in as Oded Haner talks with news writer Zach Church about his work as CIO at Monster Cable.
Industry: Consumer electronics

Revenue: $350 million to $500 million

Number of employees: 600; 35 in IT

Time in job: Three years

Educational background: Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and economy from Tel Aviv University.

First job: Consultant at Tvuna in Israel.

Best advice you've ever received: Avoid at all costs re-inventing the wheel. Focus all the resources on what provides competitive advantage.

Best career move: I am a big proponent of investing in quality resources and ensuring that collaboration with the target audience is kept throughout all the project phases. To do that I had to invest heavily in functional knowledge, which meant understanding the financial details, legal and regulation, sales and marketing methodologies, etc. Doing it was the single key success factor I can see to being able to understand and bridge the gap between technology and the rest of the business.

Biggest career influence: I served in the Israeli military for three mandatory years and had a commanding officer who, next to being tough, was very execution oriented. He demonstrated his leadership in many ways, but the main thing was his ability to deliver quality on time without seeking false heroism or ego brushing. His no-compromises and no-personal-ego approach is the ultimate heroism in my mind.

Award-winning IT
Why this project worked: It was a lot of planning. We took enough time to understand what was inefficient and antiquated in the previous process. More than just the root cause of why it doesn't work, and more than just redesigning it so it will work. We tried to understand the need of the business three to five years down the road. We tried to divide it into small chunks that anybody would understand anywhere in the warehouse.

How you sold it to management: It all started with a fairly simple ROI sheet that I remember designing one night. It had very high-level guestimates of what the system could end up saving. It ended up being a collaborative approach with the head of distribution and the [director] of supply chain. Everybody knew exactly what it will cost up front and what it would save. It ended up being a very thorough ROI.

What the judges said: This ambitious project has proven results: Higher customer satisfaction and sustainable growth in sales, flexibility and scalability. This was an almost painful process, simplified by strong leadership and a thorough understanding of how to align business with technology.

Best technology decision: To stick with Microsoft and Dell as the main solution providers for my shop and the decisions not to change. I feel they are the most suitable solution providers to the midmarket, mainly because they have the biggest range of solutions … and keep it fairly simple and manageable for the small shops.

Biggest IT challenge: Educating a company that technology saves money, scales faster and is more reliable for the day-to-day operation. The education process is a constant challenge.

Best personality trait: To get as much information as I can and then act on it.

Worst personality trait: The inability to think about myself in the big picture. I often think only of the big picture. I often should pay a bit more attention to specific individuals in the process, not only the whole project.

Hobby: Deep-sea scuba diving. Snowboarding. Kite surfing.

Alter-ego career: Cruise boat captain.

Current reading: I just read Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. I read only business and professional books.

Next big technology: It has to come from either the mobile world, because more and more of us are not sitting in the office and those not sitting in an office have a much greater need for more information. The other has to be integration. Tools today become ever more complex. At the same time, they are dependent on more and more information from other companies.

One word of advice to IT pros coming up the ranks: That change management is important. Change management often means the ability to maintain quality even when the urge is to do something quicker. If anything, the most important thing I ever did over the years was never compromise quality.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Zach Church, News Writer

2008 CIO Decisions Midmarket IT Leadership Award Winners
Larry L. Burwell: Profile | Podcast
Ron Crall: Profile | Podcast
Joseph S. Edward: Profile | Podcast
Oded Haner | Profile | Podcast
Jerry L. Hodge: Profile | Podcast
Kathy J. Lang: Profile | Podcast
David Mann: Profile | Podcast
Jim Mulholland: Profile | Podcast
Ram Murthy: Profile | Podcast
Shawn Partridge: Profile | Podcast

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