A Monstrous presence in Milwaukee

New York-based Monster Worldwide Inc., the publicly traded corporate parent of Monster.com, the global online career site, had more than $1 billion in global revenues last year.

Every dollar that the company spent or took in from North America came through Milwaukee, through its Milwaukee Monster Solution Center at 7800 W. Brown Deer Road. While the Milwaukee office only employs about 100 workers, it handles crucial functions for the company. 

The office, headed by Dave Griebl, vice president of finance, is Monster’s North American back-room operations.

“Every dollar comes in and out through this office,” Griebl said. “We do all invoicing and accounting, we pay all of our vendors, our employees and any partners we do business with. It’s all through here.”

The company’s back-room operations developed in metro Milwaukee in the late 1980s, when the company, which would later become Monster, purchased several Milwaukee-area Yellow Pages advertising firms. As the company bought and sold off different divisions, it retained key accounting and financial operations in Milwaukee, Griebl said.

The company officially changed its name to Monster in the early 1990s.

Because Monster Worldwide is a publicly traded company, its financial, accounting and compliance requirements are complex, Griebl said.

“On the inbound side, we handle credit, collections and invoicing from here,” he said. “From a cash out standpoint, we do all of the payroll for North America, all SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Act) and other compliance. We have a lot of revenue-sharing partners like newspapers, and there’s a big compliance part to it.”

Monster grows roughly 35 percent each year, Griebl said, but the Milwaukee office is growing at a slightly slower pace. The company anticipates hiring about 10 more employees for its local offices this year.

Until several years ago, Monster frequently sought to hire financial workers from outside markets who they would move to Milwaukee, Griebl said. Today, the company frequently finds and hires local talent.

“The universities are pumping out tremendous candidates on the accounting side,” he said. “(Monster’s local office) is not well known, but when people find out about it, there’s high interest.”

By early 2009, Monster will need to expand its 15,000-square-foot office space by 10 to 15 percent to accommodate the additional workers.

“We may have to do some reconfiguring too,” Griebl said. “We’re looking to add some level of on-site training, not just for our staff but for our partners as well.”

The Milwaukee office is referred to as Monster’s Solution Center, Griebl said, because it has evolved into more than just its North American financial nerve center. The division now functions as Monster’s travel management center, handling all support for its employees and executives. Griebl and his staff are looking for ways to expand the services the Solution Center takes care of for Monster.

“I think there are simple things like record retention (we could do),” he said.

The Milwaukee office is also closely examining electronic contract storage for all of Monster’s North American operations, as well as facilities management and human resources and data entry, Griebl said.

And because Monster holds events on a regular basis, the Milwaukee Solution Center may be able to leverage its travel management to event planning and management, Griebl said.

“We’re starting to break out of the finance shell a little bit,” he said.

Monster Solutions Center

Address: 7800 W. Brown Deer Road, Milwaukee
Employees: About 100
Web site: www.monsterworldwide.com

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