Recently we sat down with Executive Adjunct Professor, John Ward to discuss his background as well as the Information Technology course he teaches for Valpo MBA.
Q: Tell us a little about your business background- please involve any professional organizations, boards you’re involved with.
Independent Consultant Current
Provide consulting and project management services to corporations primarily in the area of Information Systems and Technology. Extensive hands on and project management experience executing SAP software projects.
Lead the testing phase of an SAP Consolidation Project at a Fortune 150 Company.
Whirlpool Corporation – Benton Harbor, Michigan 1994–2010
Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $19 billion, more than 73,000 employees, and more than 72 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. The company’s goal is to grow global sales to $35 billion by 2016.
Whirlpool Corporation – Benton Harbor, Michigan
Director, Global IT Operations, 2006–2010
Lead a team of 20 direct reports, five at the Manager level, and a total staff of 400 consultants from Accenture (supporting SAP implementation) and Keane (supporting legacy systems) in development and support of IT operations worldwide. Deployed best practices globally for testing strategies and methodologies, landscape management, system performance, internal controls, compliance, and the business-process advisor model within the AMS support structure. Serve as Program Lead and subject-matter expert for the Maytag Parts Integration Project and provide overall leadership to key global, North American, and Global Information Systems initiatives.
- Leading migration of all in-house developed legacy applications, many developed by acquired companies, with multiple redundancies to SAP to drive global systems and reduce IT costs.
- Leading role on Management Excellence Project that is projected to save more than $300 million over five to seven years by reducing costs for licensing, support, and hardware infrastructure.
- Established and executed the Maytag Majors Post Go-live Support Plan, which required supporting thousands of business partners across six project command centers.
Director, North American Region Global Information Systems Deployment, 2005–2006
Led development and deployment of IT systems for the North American Region, supervising a staff of approximately 130 internal and contract professionals.
- Succeeded in managing a North American IS budget of $28 million to a favorable variance meeting stretch objectives.
- Lead the deployment of the SAP solution to the core Parts Management and Distribution operations, yielding savings of $10 million annually, replacing 20 legacy systems, and providing Web services to distributors.
- Directed the migration of the NAR SAP system support and maintenance to Accenture, effecting global savings of $2 million.
- Lead several leadership education sessions including 21 Laws of Leadership, Leadership Alignment Discussions, and Developing the Leader within You; conducted Learning Map Sessions.
Director, NAR GIS Consumer and Appliance Care, 2004–2005
Managed all operations of a major call center. Participated in all phases of bringing college-level talent into Global Information Systems.
- Deployed Siebel to add consumer data, enhance customer service, and create opportunities that generate additional revenue, turning support operations into a process that generated $1 million in new revenue annually.
- Transformed the Whirlpool Canada Call center from a volume-based business to a customer-focused organization with the successful deployment of a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) solution.
- Lead the Customer 360 Project, an in-house package for managing millions of consumer data records that has been used successfully for outbound marketing campaigns and to support product recalls.
Manager, NAR GIS Parts Management, 2000–2004
Led deployment of SAP to the Regional Parts Distribution Center and the Knoxville Call Center.
- Coordinated IS participation in the relocation of a major parts distribution center.
- Saved $15 million by outsourcing and completely redesigning business processes to a sourcing model.
- Completed I-Mentor training and assisted in teaching several I-Mentor sessions to various business units.
Keane Incorporated – 1992–1994
A leading IT and business process consulting firm.
Consultant, Whirlpool Financial Systems
Provided consultative support for the deployment of M&D Accounting software and for changes to the Whirlpool Manufacturing System to add a new manufacturing facility.
United States Steel – Gary, Indiana 1984–1992
A major heavy industrial manufacturing organization.
Implemented cost-reduction solutions within production finishing warehouses. Initiatives included the design, development, and deployment of Bar Code and Radio Frequency coil tracking and physical inventory systems. Deployed Production Planning and Scheduling systems at multiple USS locations throughout the United States and provided 24×7 support to business-critical manufacturing systems.
Professional Organizations Memberships:
- Corporate Reputation Institute (RI)
- Project Management Institute (PMI)
- SAP University Alliance
- Advisor, Valparaiso University Phi Beta Lambda (Future Business Leaders)
- SAP User Group
Q: What makes your MBA course different than others students might take at an undergraduate level?
MBA 645 Information Systems and Information Technology
This course takes more of an executive view on the importance of IS to the business organization. Course covers the latest trends in technology and business intelligence. The course focuses in on a process versus functional view of the organization while introducing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. MBA students get hands on experience with SAP (world’s number one business software). Extensive research is completed on the latest IS and IT capabilities in the business environment.
Q. What are you hoping future managers/CEO’s will gain from taking your course?
Future managers/CEO’s will see how an effectively and efficiently run IS organization can provide a competitive advantage.
Q: How do your specific courses meet the needs of a working professional?
Course is taught in the evenings and can be successfully completed remotely. VU’s MBA Live provides working professionals, who may not be able to attend the class in person, a vehicle to attend class remotely.
We thank Professor Ward for taking the time to connect with us! For more information about the Valpo MBA program please contact Cindy.Scanlan@valpo.edu or call 219-465-7952.