We are pleased to announce that Dan Kelly joined HBM in June as IT Project Manager, reporting to Mike Chill. Discover why he chose to be part of our team, how he views IT as a competitive edge — and the three best practices he relies on for successful technology integration and adoption.
Please tell us a little about your professional background.
DK: For the past 18 years, I’ve worked in IT consulting. During most of that time — 12 years to be exact — my career has focused on project management, particularly for long-term strategic programs. As a result, I’ve enjoyed helping businesses achieve strategic goals. I led several transformation teams supporting acquisitions and mergers in the financial sector, as well as numerous sustaining programs in the manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and agriculture industries.
How were you introduced to HBM, and what interested you about the company?
DK: I have a long-standing relationship with Adaptive Solutions Group, an IT staffing firm based in St. Louis — that’s how I learned about the opportunity at HBM. Here’s something that really appealed to me: HBM is very entrepreneurial in its approach and spirit. Its executive management team trusts the employees’ talents and empowers them to act. There’s also a clear alignment of IT and leadership — and HBM focuses on helping its portfolio companies adopt that structure too, so tech strategies can truly support business priorities.
I was impressed by HBM’s drive towards operational excellence and its ethical approach, as well as its sense of responsibility to the community. All of those things made HBM something to be excited about during the interview process.
What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?
DK: The ongoing and rapid changes in technology, as well as the uncertainty of business landscapes, create the potential to develop solutions that will provide operational efficiencies within our portfolio companies. Those efficiencies will help support HBM’s vision to become a world-class investment and management company.
System integrations can be challenging at a single company, let alone several companies. What are your go-to best practices for ensuring successful integration and adoption of new technology?
DK: First, have a holistic view of your landscape. Understand the upstream and downstream implications of where you are heading and what’s been proposed. Second, have a realistic vision — begin with where you are, not where you think you should be. Too often, integration projects run into trouble because they attempt to deliver the final product with all the bells and whistles at one time. In most cases you can work iteratively, delivering your core first and then migrating new functionality in more manageable sections. Third, document everything.
What are the three technology developments that will positively impact the manufacturing industry within the next three years? And what excites you about the IT Project Management field?
DK: In the coming years, I expect the manufacturing industry to benefit even more from 3D printing tools, RFID technology and further integration of IoT throughout the supply chain. One of HBM’s portfolio companies, Tru-Flex, has already improved employee productivity by using 3D printing for prototyping, among other things.
As for what excites me about my field: My drive comes from knowing that the efforts I lead today have tangible benefits to our organization that will provide alignment, allowing us to capitalize on the opportunities presented tomorrow.