When Mark Gittings was growing up in the South Suburbs of Chicago, he developed an interest in computers due to his involvement in the family business. Originally, he was accepted to UIUC in the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science program. However, as he got more involved in the manufacturing side of this business, he learned about the application of computerization in manufacturing. He switched majors to Industrial Engineering as he discovered that the application of computers to solve problems like those in manufacturing fascinated him more than the design of the computers.
As Mark was getting ready to graduate with his BSIE in 1974, he realized that the family business was no longer a viable option. He decided to join Westinghouse Electric with their training program. He went to several locations and performed multiple functions, ending up as a Manufacturing Engineer at their Sharon, PA, old-line transformer facility. He also got married to his college sweetheart during this time.
However, Westinghouse reduced their personnel in Mark’s area and moved him into Production Planning. While this played into his interest in the use of computers, it also indicated that this division was reducing capital investment. At the same time, he and his wife missed friends & family in IL. Therefore, he looked for jobs in the Chicago area, but to his surprise, he landed one in the Champaign area with Flo-Con Systems (currently Vesuvius).
While back in Champaign, Mark took the opportunity to work part-time on his MBA at UIUC, getting it in 1979. At the same time, his tenure at Flo-Con included roles in operations / inventory planning & management, industrial engineering, project manager in a customized systems development, and participation in a full-scale ERP implementation.
When it came time to move to the next level & leave Flo-Con, Mark found multiple positions in Supply Chain & Manufacturing Management without having to leave the area, which also included running a new start-up that made agricultural equipment.
By the mid 1990’s, Mark knew that his gifting lay in helping manufacturing companies improve their operations via computerization. Therefore, he created his own company called Integrated Management Solutions, Inc. (IMSI) and focused on doing work with small manufacturers, mostly through the use of computers. Later he became involved with ERP systems who catered to this market, initially with implementation, but eventually creating interfaces and customizations that enabled these customers to do more. As these small job shops morphed into OEM parts suppliers to larger customers, IMSI developed products which included full-scale barcode labeling, integrations to outside payroll providers, and services to support EDI implementations.
Mark has also been continually active in professionalism within manufacturing & supply chain. He is an active member of ASCM (Association for Supply Chain Management – formerly known as APICS), where he holds 3 certifications (CFPIM, CSCP & CLTD) and has been involved at both the Chapter (including the UIUC student chapter) & Regional levels. He is also a member of the ISE Alumni Advisory Board, serving on the Business Perspectives Committee
As Mark nears retirement, he and his wife, Valerie, want to travel more to visit their 3 children’s families which includes 10 grandchildren, along with finding ways to give back more to others. Therefore, he is looking for someone to take care of his customers so that he can transition into this new role.