Global Director, Enterprise Systems



IAR’s client is a publicly traded, highly profitable and successful global leader in the field of chemical manufacturing located in the Chicago area.  We are working with their leadership team and the CIO to find a Global Director of Enterprise Solutions to lead the team responsible for global technology systems.  This team is accountable for all systems in place today and, over the coming years, will be responsible for migrating our business over to SAP S/4.   Our client has experienced tremendous growth over the last several years and continues to rapidly expand, both organically and through acquisition.  Our client believes and invests in transformational technology and is excited to be on the cutting edge.  We are looking for an intelligent, ambitious professional who is excited by big challenges and has the desire to make a major impact.  This is a unique and powerful opportunity for the right candidate.  Beyond gaining the rare experience of transforming systems across a global enterprise, the successful candidate will be on a clear succession plan to become CIO.  In addition, they will have the opportunity to build and expand a world-class application development team at a company that truly values personal purpose, operational excellence, and business results.

When will I start?

Finding the right person is more important than getting someone quickly.  That said, this is a new leadership role for our client and we are eager to get this individual on board as soon as possible.

Who will I report to?

This role will report directly to the CIO and serve as a member of the global IT leadership team.  They will be highly visible to both the Executive team and the Board of Directors. 

Who will report to me?

The Global Director will provide vision and leadership to a team that includes several full-time employees, and a variety of contractors and off-shore resources.  Initially, we anticipate that they will manage a team of three to four direct reports and six to eight additional indirect reports.  That team will scale rapidly as we implement new systems like S/4 – this individual will build and oversee the team responsible for those investments. 

What will I do?

There are a few key success criteria that will determine the success of the Global Director.  First, within the first few months, this individual will have worked to develop a high degree of trust and credibility with leaders across the company.  They should be proactively uncovering challenges and opportunities for improvement in current systems and be known as an honest change agent who meets their commitments on time and drives tangible ROI.  The Global Director will also be accountable for seeking out, validating, and bringing innovative best practices and ideas from the outside, with an emphasis on application development methodologies.  They will be driven by their knowledge of emerging trends in the world of SaaS and cloud computing and will leverage that knowledge to drive value.  They will work closely with the CIO, CHRO and Finance team to build a culture of innovation and engagement, focusing on strengthening the organization’s employer brand to position our client as an IT employer of choice.  Additionally, in the first six months, they will have made necessary adjustments to, and hired for, a best in class technology team (both internal and offshore) who are able to drive tangible value via major ERP systems within the company and recent acquisitions.  This team will be ready for a global shift in ERP systems at the end of this persons first year. 

Second, within their first year, they will have successfully rolled out SAP S/4 to one of the company’s major business units.  This is essential as it will serve as a benchmark for the entire technology organization as the company looks toward a global transformation to S/4.  To accomplish this, the Global Director should have developed a blueprint including clear timelines and benchmarks which demonstrate a deep understanding of the current state and desired end state.  In addition to developing the blueprint, they will have leveraged the discovery process to build strong relationships with stakeholders including the Leadership team and Board.  They will have become a trusted partner with internal customers and have developed training and deployment plans aimed at maximizing user adoption and business benefits.  Additionally, they will have developed and implemented software development policies and controls to ensure data accuracy, security, and legal and regulatory compliance.

Last, on an ongoing basis, the Global Director will work with the CIO and relevant teams across the organization to evaluate interim upgrade needs for legacy ERP systems and have initiated appropriate actions.  Through this process they will have solidified plans for the enterprise wide transformation to SAP S/4 in the coming years.

As the transformation effort begins to taper off, the Global Director will continue to manage application vendor relationships and negotiate contracts to procure resources and technology solutions to meet the company’s strategic objectives.  Additionally, they will recruit, develop and retain high caliber software development talent, especially for key leadership positions, and develop a succession plan for the long term.

What will I make? 

Our client offers a competitive base the salary, bonus structure, equity incentives and, if needed, relocation assistance.  We are happy to discuss specifics around base salary compensation and bonus structure for this role with qualified candidates during the first conversation.

What are the requirements?

It’s not a short list but we want to get it right.  From a technical perspective, the right candidate will:

  • Understand the specifics of our industry – they will have spent meaningful time working in a Chemicals, Process Industry, and/or discrete manufacturing environment.

  • Be ready to lead – this will not be their first time managing and building a team.  Ideally, they will also have some experience leading a large-scale ERP transformation.

  • Be able to keep our team on the cutting edge.  They will have knowledge of emerging trends and developments in PaaS, SaaS, iOS/Android app API, cloud, AI, machine learning and other digital technologies.  They will have a passion for the latest digital innovations and the acumen to show how the application of those innovations can create business value.

  • Have experience developing and supporting mission critical applications optimized to run in the cloud or virtualized environments.

  • Be successful working with vendors – this means having a deep knowledge of system architecture, technical design, and system and software development technology.

  • Have a track record managing large, complex budgets and demonstrated the ability to develop and manage strong relationships with service providers, consultants, and partners. 

  • Have the ability to communicate complex issues powerfully to different audiences.  He/She will have superior executive presence and can distill key points out of a myriad of facts and data.

  • Be comfortable and excited to own a transformation initiative.  At some point in their career, they will have demonstrated the ability to step into projects already in progress and effectively assume a leadership role.

From a cultural perspective, the right candidate will:

  • Be an exceptional change agent.  He/She will have demonstrated their ability to challenge the “status-quo” while still building positive relationships and delivering tangible, positive changes.

  • Help us meet our goal of continuing to build a world class team.  They will have previously demonstrated their ability to attract, develop and retain talent and build high performing software development teams that embraces innovation, and challenges existing paradigms.

  • Educate the business on the value of the work they are leading.  They will foster a culture of transparency and a sense of purpose among the team and create clear accountabilities and metrics that are visible to the broader business.

  • Be able to move quickly having demonstrated the ability to remove barriers with a sense of urgency, and a track record of encouraging others to do the same.

  • Be able to carry the S/4 transformation over the finish line.  They will need to be skilled at conflict resolution and problem-solving to achieve win-win outcomes

  • Be effective on an international scale – this means being internationally minded, receptive of intercultural differences.  They should be able to point to situations where they have leveraged that knowledge to be a more effective leader.

Location and travel requirements 

The Global Director will work from the company’s global headquarters in the western suburbs of Chicago and is expected to travel approximately 10% of the time across our US and global sites.  Travel requirements are expected to be high when the ERP transformation kicks off.

How do I get in touch?

Interested candidates should reach out to Grant Zallis at