Driving Global Synergies: The Growth Story of adm in Marketing Services

adm works to understand client needs so it can deliver marketing campaigns that build client brands and add value to their businesses.

By Eric Slack

From its North American headquarters in Stamford, Conn., adm is embarking on an exciting journey. Its roots stretch back to 1992 when it was part of the company, Polyconcept. In 2015, the management team of adm acquired the business from Polyconcept with the goal of building on a stable business platform and a global infrastructure to continue the development of its capabilities to better serve clients as a standalone business.

Today, it is one of the largest independent marketing services businesses in the world. Its team of process experts consult, reengineer and execute global supply chain solutions that deliver competitive advantage and cost optimization. The company has over 300 people and 21 offices in 17 countries, allowing the company to deliver local activation of global strategies for brands across the world.

“The company is headquartered in the U.K., and the U.S. team is a wholly owned subsidiary,” Vice President of Sourcing and Supply Chain Alyssa Young says. “We are truly global and continually drive greater global synergies across our business to execute global campaigns at a regional and local level.”

adm fact box

Knowing Clients

Working with clients under long-term contracts, adm becomes their execution partner to deliver marketing campaigns that build their brands and add value.

Global organizations and brands look to adm to implement enterprise solutions that deliver benefits such as cost optimization, streamlining operational processes, eliminating risk, driving brand compliance, protecting brand equity and delivering sustainable innovation. The company consults with clients to build a collaborative roadmap for success in partnership with stakeholders.

Established in early 2015, adm USA now partners with a number of CPG clients that include Diageo, a multinational alcoholic beverage company along with beauty leaders L’Oréal and Coty.

Young was appointed by adm USA in January 2016 to oversee the domestic procurement and supplychain process. She has the responsibility of creating and implementing an industry leading category management strategy that enhances the company’s overall global procurement offering while driving both efficiencies and effectiveness for its U.S. client base.

“Everything starts with analysis and review. From there we can really define a clear strategy for success,” Young says. “As with anything, we need to establish a pulse check of the current client procurement status and collaboratively build a roadmap which is ultimately built around people, process and technology.

“We are unearthing a lot of opportunity within the U.S. marketplace and the more we engage clients and supply partners, the more we realize what a unique proposition we have,” Young says. “The more we talk and listen, the more we learn. There are a number of areas where we have a high level of sophistication such as providing detail spend visibility, implementing compliance programs and driving greater marketing effectiveness, all wrapped up into one technology platform is really resonating with clients within the U.S.”

While adm boasts a mature procurement platform adopted by its offices globally, the U.S. team led by Young is hard at work at evaluating and onboarding domestic suppliers that can play a role within the joined up global procurement strategy, which also give U.S. suppliers the opportunity to a global gateway.

Rapid Evolution

As for its investments in U.S. operations, people, process and technology are the key areas for resources at present. Finding the right people is a main focus.

“We managed to secure some initial staff transfers from our European operations to support client demand, but combined this with great local talent,” Young says. “We’ve gone through a lot of resumes and interviews in order to get people the right people on board, but have already identified the need to appoint an in-house talent manager to build a pipeline of great people to support the growth journey.

Another consideration is office location and space to support growth. Within the space of 12 months, we have established a U.S. footprint in Stamford, New York, Miami and Toronto, with additional expansion plans for Q1 2017 to support our growing client base.”

For adm, success revolves around having the right support team in place internally to ensure that the business is well run while also finding the right external partners. It can be a significant challenge to find the right suppliers to provide products that meet the requirements of its customers, as they are large companies that expect the highest quality.

“It is important that we identify the best suppliers to support our business and ensure we maintain a thorough evaluation process. Our standards are high,” Young says. “It is the same with transportation and fulfillment partners. We often face tight deadlines for our customers and given that most of the marketing programs we support are seasonal or event driven, late deliveries are not an option. That said, we know what it takes and are proud of our track record in this space when it comes to on-time/in-full delivery.”

Now, adm is continuing to invest in its operations in the U.S. and around the world. New staff and offices are coming online in many nations, from India and Vietnam to Dubai and beyond. Young is heavily involved with what is happening for the company globally, working with her global procurement counterparts to ensure shared success.

“We are making sure that we are moving forward together and leverage economies of scale to enhance efficiencies for our clients and ensure seamless POS management transitions for our clients,” Young says.