Premier 100 IT Leader profile: Dennis L. Strong

Dennis L. Strong has used technology to make shopping easier for customers of McCoy's Building Supply, wherever they might be.

Strong, who is senior vice president and CIO at McCoy's, worked with his team to develop and implement a real-time online product catalog integrated into the company's real-time point-of-sale system. Customers of the San Marcos, Texas-based chain, which has 83 retail locations in five states, can go online to get up-to-date views of what's available at any given store and at what price, including sale prices and specific customer discounts.

"The risk there for me was like anything with the Web: You expose your assets to the world, and descriptions, images, pricing, those kinds of things have to be deadly accurate. So there's a tremendous amount of coordination there with the other departments, like marketing, to really keep things in sync," says Strong.

Strong, 62, says his goals are to enable the business, support the corporate objectives and differentiate McCoy from its competitors.

John Meeks, senior vice president of corporate development, says such technology-driven initiatives are testaments to how much Strong has achieved for McCoy's. "When Dennis came to us, we were a $500 million company that didn't own one computer, so Dennis was brought in to computerize our company," says Meeks. "He hit the ground running, and we now have one of the most sophisticated, real-time point-of-sale systems in the building material business."

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