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Jim Cranston, CMC

Jim Cranston

Vancouver, CANADA

J.G. Cranston and Associates

Address: 4316 Locarno.Cres., Vancouver, BC, V6R-1G3
Phone: (604) 222-1036
Mobile: (604) 816-2050
Email: jimcran@jgca.ca

Jim Cranston brings a dual perspective to his consulting practice, specializing Organizational Reviews/Restructuring, IT Planning and Project Definition, System Feasibility and Business Case Analysis, IT Governance and Operations and Business Process Improvement

First as a Management Consultant with over 26 years experience in:

1. information technology (IT);
2. organizational effectiveness; and
3. strategic and business planning.

During this period he conducted IT studies pertaining to system feasibility, organizational/project audits, cost/benefits analysis and project management for a wide range of clients – see attached project list.

Second as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) from 2001 – 2009 at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada he brings direct operational experience to his work. Mr. Cranston was appointed to the newly created CIO position to lead the transformation of IT within the institution. As the senior information technology executive, together with a staff of 140 professionals, the CIO is responsible for providing IT services to a community of some 35,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni including: network, telecommunications and infrastructure, computing accounts, ERP and other administrative systems, e-Learning, research support and IT security.

Mr. Cranston’s first challenge upon joining SFU was to organize and direct a cross departmental team of staff in the selection, acquisition and implementation of an ERP system to cover HR/Payroll, Finance (G/L, A/P, Budgets, Procurement) and most critically, SFU’s student administration needs. Further, he provided leadership and oversight on a wide range of application/technology upgrades/transformations including: numerous administrative systems, e-Mail/Calendaring, e-Learning, server virtualization, storage consolidation, VoIP, desktop/laptop/hand held device support, a new data centre, high security/large scale research computing and business continuity/disaster recovery planning and implementation. As the responsible executive, he developed/vetted budgets, and defined and managed the ongoing operational organization for all aspects of the IT portfolio reporting to the CIO.

During his tenure as CIO Mr. Cranston chaired BC Net a university consortium providing connectivity to BC Universities, CANARIE and BC’s research community; was a Board Member of the Oracle Higher Education Users Group (HEUG); and was founding Chair of the Canadian University Council of CIO’s (CUCCIO). He retired from SFU in February 2009.

In his consulting practice Mr. Cranston gained experience across a broad range of industries, geographies and cultures:

  1. "Industries": - Transportation, Utilities, Oil and Gas, Governments (federal, foreign, provincial, municipal and various agencies), Environmental, Forest Products, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing and a not-for-profit organization.
  2. Geographies and Cultures: Peru, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Thailand, Brazil, US and Canada.

He holds a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, both from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Information Technology

Air Canada – Acted as project manager for planning Air Canada’s PeopleSoft migration to V8 together with the implementation of self serve and expanded functionality. Also involved in a number of other smaller initiatives.

Weyerhaeuser Corp – Played a lead role in a comprehensive planning initiative aimed at determining how best to utilize PeopleSoft in an enterprise context. This project is also planning an upgrade from V7 to V8 while removing numerous custom modifications.

Canadian Airlines – For an eight month period supervised the technical support of the Airlines newly installed PeopleSoft V7 HRMS.

Canadian Airlines – Project Manager for the implementation of PeopleSoft V7 HR/Payroll system in a company with 15,000 active employees, 14,000 retirees and other related employees as well as eight union agreements.

MetroNet – Project managed the rollout of major systems related to customer order entry, billing, payments, trouble ticketing, and interconnections, for a new voice telecommunications company established in the then newly deregulated Canadian communications environment.

Alam Flora - Malaysia – Development of a strategic IT plan, cost/benefit analysis and initial IT organization for a new company responsible for the collection and disposal of 70% of Malaysia’s solid waste. Managed the selection and implementation of initial business and GIS systems.

Shell Canada – Project managed end user system development, implementation and training for a marketing application to support territory managers. Managed support for this application for a five year period.

Norfolk Southern Railroads – Design and project management of GIS-based land information system, and resale and enhancements to NS’s property management system to other clients. Cost/benefit analysis of property management system.

Weyerhaeuser Corp – System feasibility and cost benefit analysis of a corporate-wide GIS application to improve the management and productivity of its forestry resources.

CN Real Estate – Conducted a user needs analysis, cost/benefits analysis and helped plan the implementation of a major Geographic Information System for CN Real Estate, a subsidiary of Canadian National Railways.

Shell Canada – System requirements, feasibility and costing studies with respect to General Ledger/Accounts Payables, Purchasing and Materials Management, Liquid Petroleum Gas Administration. Provided implementation planning assistance.

Purchasing and Material Management Systems Planning – On behalf of a large Canadian integrated oil company Mr. Cranston conducted an analysis of trends in the development of purchasing and materials management systems. Nineteen companies throughout North America were interviewed and a comprehensive profile of industry trends, user requirements and the role of information systems were prepared. This enabled the client to embark upon a comprehensive system development strategy to improve cost effectiveness in their purchasing and material management function.

Shell Canada – Purchasing and materials management software evaluation - Mr. Cranston worked with an internal task force of a major Canadian integrated oil company to develop system requirements and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of commercial software packages. An in-depth functional and cost benefit analysis was performed by the task force.

Trans Canada Pipelines Resources – Provided guidance and expertise in defining requirements and developing a business case for new financial systems (G/L, A/P, Fixed Assets) and assisted an internal task force to select and implement new software and associated business processes.

Saskatchewan Justice – Feasibility study and evaluation of software packages for a case management system for the Provincial Courts.

Bayer Pharmaceuticals – Managed the design, development and implementation of a GIS-based business geographics system for use in marketing and sales management.

Socio-economic and Environmental Information Systems – Acted as an Information Systems advisor to the Government of Indonesia's Ministry of the Environment. This project was aimed at developing a socio-economic and environmental database and related GIS systems to support the implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation.

Electronic Funds Transfer and Policy Planning – For an association of financial institutions, Mr. Cranston was closely involved in a major study conducted on the Canadian clearing/payments system, its present operation and implications for the future.

Organizational Effectiveness and Change Management

Chelan County Washington Public Utilities District – Mr. Cranston was the project manager in an organizational review of the mid to senior management structure to help position this electric utility to cope with the pressures of deregulation.

BC Hydro – Mr. Cranston conducted a series of organizational reviews to determine the advantages/disadvantages of transforming corporate departments into wholly owned or partially owned subsidiaries. Areas studied included purchasing/materials management, research & development, vehicle services and construction.

Toronto Transit Commission – Strategic planning, organizational restructuring and change management: Mr. Cranston led a team in conducting a comprehensive analysis of factors influencing the current operations of a municipal transit commission.

New Brunswick Power – This organizational re-alignment project focused on the Distribution Division and consisted of a review of its organizational structure and supporting information systems.

BC Hydro - Comprehensive Audits – Participated in the conduct of a number of comprehensive audits including: Meter Reading Management System, and efficiency and effectiveness of the Information Services Department. Mr. Cranston participated in an internal audit of the systems and application development performance of BC Hydro's contractor, Westech Information Systems.

City of Edmonton Telephone and Electric Utilities – Productivity audits: Mr. Cranston acted as engagement director on an assignment which assessed the productivity of a municipality's electric and telephone utilities.

BC Hydro - Work Force Management System Feasibility – The study reviewed the current productivity levels in the customer service area and assessed the potential for implementing a computer-based work force management system. Mr. Cranston subsequently participated in the implementation of the system and associated organizational restructuring.

Manitoba Hydro – Mr. Cranston played a lead role in assisting an internal task force to develop and articulate a strategic plan for a Canadian electric utility. Following the consultant’s strategic planning methodology, the task force undertook a comprehensive analysis of stakeholder interest, and environmental (social, economic, technical and governmental) issues, as well as the corporation's internal resources.

I.XL Industries – Management succession planning, organizational realignment. Assisted this family owned company to make the successful transition from one generation of mangers to the next.

Clayburn Industries – Organizational review, employee opinion survey. Search for a new President and associated executive, long and short term incentive plans.

City of Regina – Defined a role and organizational structure for its property, industrial and economic promotion and public relations functions.

Canadian Utilities – Reviewed the public relations functions and worked with executives to implement proposals to meet the defined objectives and strategies.

Fraser Valley Brick and Block – Organizational and staffing review for the sales and distribution company of a Western Canadian manufacturer. Proposals were made for changes in organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, communications and integrating mechanisms.  

Strategic Planning, Compensation, Economic Analysis and Other Assignments

Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board – Developed and facilitated a strategic planning process for Senior Management, and assisted with strategy formulation.

Graham Construction – Development of a strategic plan.

Government of North West Territories – Socio-economic study on the Impact of the Division of the NWT.

BC Hydro – Executive incentive compensation performance appraisal system, empowered work teams, organization and compensation proposals.

Atlantis Submarines – Review of salary administration system, executive incentive compensation.
Bow Valley Resource Services – compensation system review.

I.XL Industries – Sales incentive program, salary administration, executive compensation.

Unitel – (Now AT&T Canada) Economic impact assessment – conducted an economic impact analysis for their entry into the Edmonton long distance market under different operating scenarios.

Hay Management Consultants – As a consultant with Hay Mr. Cranston assisted a number of clients with their job evaluations and compensation programs including, Pacific Brewers Distributors, Crown Forest Products, and Cominco.

Executive Search – On behalf of a number of clients Mr. Cranston has conducted executive search assignments. He oversaw the Executive Search practice as Partner in Charge of Hickling-Johnston Ltd.’s Calgary operation.

International Experience

Malaysia - Solid Waste Privatization – Defined the IT architecture, strategy and organization for the implementation of key business and GIS systems for this multi-billion dollar privatization project.

Peru - ILD – Mr. Cranston has assisted Peru’s Instituto Libertad y Democracia (ILD) in two areas. First, he provided systems planning advice to transform the existing property registration system into a comprehensive, multilingual, commercially oriented set of programs. Second, he worked closely with senior management in the development of plans and proposals to assist the organization in addressing opportunities throughout the world.

Egypt - ILD – Worked with the Peruvian NGO in the planning and delivery of a project to design and implement property reforms in Egypt.

Indonesia - Ministry of Industry – Assisted in the preparation of a Master Training Plan for providing environmental training to personnel in Industrial Research Institutes.

Thailand - Rim Pacific Ltd. – Part of a team assessing the feasibility and management requirements of an integrated shrimp processing facility in Chantaburi Province.

Indonesia - Marine & Coastal Sector Planning – Strategy process and MIS requirements.

Indonesia - Socio-economic and Environmental Information Systems – Mr. Cranston acted as an Information Systems advisor to the Government of Indonesia's Ministry of the Environment. This project was aimed at developing a socio-economic and environmental database and related GIS systems to support the implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation.

Philippines - Development of Environmental Information Systems – Mr. Cranston acted as an information systems advisor to assist the Institute for Environmental Science and Management (IESAM). The project developed a set of PC computer-based databases and GIS systems to support the needs of researchers, NGO's and other organizations by providing socio-economic, industrial and environmental base data in a useable format.

Brazil - Market Analysis For Environmental Products – On behalf of a Canadian manufacturer, Mr. Cranston conducted a market research and financial feasibility study of the Brazilian market for a portable water chlorination system.