IT Leadership Award Honoree Rick Hensley

IT Leadership Award Honoree Rick Hensley

Editor's Note: The IT Leadership Awards, presented by Pride Technologies, celebrate local IT professionals who help local, regional, national and global businesses run better through engaged leadership and a commitment to innovation. For the next week, check back each Tuesday and Thursday as we highlight one of the 20 honorees of this year's award.

The slogan for Messer, a full-service complex commercial construction company specializing in building for health care, higher education and life sciences, is "we are building." With Rick Hensley as chief information officer and corporate vice president, Messer builds more than just physical structures. They’re also building complex technical systems and processes that put Messer at the front of the pack when it comes to use of technology in the construction industry.

One recent project is implementing Viewpoint, a new enterprise resource planning system. "This is the biggest project we’ve taken on in the last 10 years," says Hensley of his 18-person team developing the cloud-based system. "It includes imaging and document management, project management, change orders, keeps track of units of production and more."

More than 500 professionals, ranging from engineers working in the field to administrators, use the system. "We always had an operations focus, but we didn’t have the right tool to support front-line operators," explains Hensley. "Now, with Viewpoint, we do. The objective is to put operations people at the point of attack. With an iPad and Viewpoint they can make decisions that work to save time and money directly at the job site. The more our project managers can be on-site instead of in the trailer, the better for the client."

And the team is looking toward more future growth.

"We’ll continue to utilize mobility as best we can, and implement a cloud-based human capital management system that encompasses payroll and talent management," says Hensley. He also stresses employee involvement. "You can have the best system in the world, but if people aren’t engaged, you have nothing."

Next up is preparing for the 25th anniversary in 2015 of employees buying the company from the Messer family, and projecting increased sales to go along with the celebration. The company billed $950 million this year and expects sales to reach $1 billion by 2015. With great technology, solid construction and increasing sales, Messer is building a bright future.

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