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UGovernIT’s February 2017 CIO of the Month: Fernando Gonzalez

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fernando-gonzalezCIOs of mid-sized enterprises rarely get the attention they richly deserve. I met Fernando at a CIO event where I was moderating a session on Innovation.  It was clear that Fernando had something very special to offer to all of us.
Mr. Fernando Gonzalez serves as the Chief Information Officer at Byer California, Inc. Byer designs and manufacturers clothing lines for women, both young and the not so young.  Fernando previously worked for EDS, Rand, Informix and various manufacturing companies around the world from medical device manufacturing to aerospace manufacturing, on both public and private sectors.
While many CIOs are focused on alignment, Fernando has a different take on it.  He feels that if you have the “C” in your title, then you are part of developing the strategy.  He argues that if you are developing the strategy with your other C suite colleagues, by definition, you are aligning your IT with it.  This leads to his view that many share:  it is critical for the CIO to know the business.  Fernando knows each and and every division in the firm, their key metrics, their margins and challenges.

 

He shared many examples of how the CIO can bring strategy to the table.  At the high end, he felt it was important to note why a particular buyer purchased or not purchased the items.  He stated that analytics do not help as their target market is driven by desire to buy something new.  So one of his innovative ideas was to embed RFID and track how many garments their customers carried to the change room and how many (if any) they selected.  Innovation, he argues does not have to be big-ticket items.  Even simple ideas can be very appropriate.  For example, most big enterprises like Wal-Mart recognize the need to manage inventory as a strategic part of their Supply Chain management.  Fernando encountered a situation where the warehouse space needed to be expanded.  It was simple, but many times overlooked, better management of inventory to reduce warehouse space requirements. Legacy ERP systems rarely provide these insights, but a relatively inexpensive customization of the inventory management module in the ERP led to significant savings.

He has so many success stories, it is hard to pen it down in a page.  Mr. Fernando Gonzalez is our CIO of the month.

Written by Subbu Murthy

February 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm