by Peter High, published on Forbes
David Guzman has held the top IT role at a number of major companies including K-Mart, eBay Enterprise, Acxiom, and Owens & Minor. For the last four years, he has been the CIO of HD Smith, a multi-billion pharmaceutical products distribution and services business based in Springfield, Illinois. During that time, he has simplified the way in which IT does business, employing cloud technologies to simplify the infrastructure and introducing process excellence in the form of Lean Six Sigma and ITIL, for example. He has introduced a number of analytics and mobile solutions that have changed employee and customer experience, and he intends to have more of his team’s time spent on externally focused innovation. He covers all of the above and more with me in this interview.
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Peter High: For those who may be less familiar with your organization, could you talk a bit about the business H.D. Smith is in?
David Guzman: H.D. Smith is a pharmaceutical products distribution and services business based in Springfield, Illinois. We are a private company and do not publish financials, but we would be in the vicinity of the Fortune 500 company if we were a public company. We have been around for over 60 years since 1954 and our scope is the entire United States. Our key customers are the community pharmacies, as opposed to the big retail chains, as well as hospitals and institutions. Our suppliers in the health care supply chain are a big part of our customer base as well.
High: What role do you see IT playing in this business? I know this is an industry you know well from multiple turns in it in different areas, among other industries you have been a part of. Can you talk a bit about the role you see IT playing?
Guzman: Our senior leadership team has a very enlightened view of the role of IT. As the CIO, I am a member of the executive committee, the top senior leadership of the company. We meet once a month for a full day as a leadership team. We also have an operating council that runs the day to day aspects of the business, and I am part of that as well, which also meets once a month for a full day. I make presentations to our board on key issues and I am a part of the small core of people that are building the strategy of the company as well. So IT is seen as an enabler of the company’s strategy and a key partner in delivering that strategy.