SupplyLogic’s Long-term Strategy Validated by Recent Print Industry Recognition of its Loyalty Metrics

September 17, 2015- Julie O'Hara

Entrepreneur Kevin Sherlock founded SupplyLogic in 2004, originally using the power of aggregate demand against the over capacity of US printing firms to save clients roughly 20 percent of their spending on business forms, marketing materials, promotional items, secondary packaging and direct mail. With the rise of analytics, engineering talent started taking a much closer look at how large brands were requisitioning, ordering and tracking these materials.

Sherlock was among the first to advocate process transformation and optimization opportunities in this space. Soon other forward thinking executives at his competitors came to similar views. 

For example, Frank J. Olivieri, then President of Williams Lea US, and Phil Schoonmaker, who had left WL to co-found LogicSource, and had handled print management for Walmart, Coke and Morgan Stanley, realized there was an emerging opportunity to streamline the processes that encompass marketing procurement. They could ultimately help clients far more by fixing processes than negotiating printer discounts. Increased productivity, risk management and brand consistency benefits would complement the considerably larger savings.

Olivieri published a dramatic case study that validated Sherlock’s ideas, and they began meeting regularly to plan a new SupplyLogic in January 2013, after Olivieri sold his interest in Williams Lea. Schoonmaker was a natural choice to create the new solution. Meanwhile, Sherlock and Olivieri transformed the Firm’s client service platform, first learning about missed opportunities by utilizing Net Promoter Score metrics, then changing the company culture and taking their team of experts from their New York office, and placing them right at their clients’ headquarters where they would be privy to strategy discussions, help plan campaign execution, cost-out proposed items, and suggest other potential client innovations from “a seat at the table.”

SupplyLogic experts will come into a company and do a complete qualitative and quantitative analysis of the company’s marketing spend. Then they will create and deliver a custom technology and process solution based on the way a company’s brand workers and sellers prefer to work (Essentially, the company puts in a requisitioning portal to unify purchasing, but each client’s needs and solutions are different). Then the company will empanel a custom team of suppliers based on evaluations of 408 key performance criteria measurements of each partner in its database. Finally, they put subject matter experts into the client’s headquarters to not only select the right supplier from the panel for each job and ensure follow-through on orders, but to continually learn and innovate with the client’s marketing and procurement teams.

The Company’s on-site service delivery is a key differentiator and is a seamless extension of their clients marketing operations enabling continuous process improvement, best practice sharing and ongoing innovation. SupplyLogic has done little marketing to date because most new business comes through the Private Equity channel, where investors see value in finding a few quick million dollars in marketing (at a company spending at least $10 million per year), to self fund growth initiatives such as multichannel services. Industry leaders such as KKR, Blackstone, WCAS and Providence Equity will invite SupplyLogic directly to assess new acquisitions. Of course the basis of the Net Promoter Score metric is whether existing clients would refer a friend to SupplyLogic. They often do.

Proof points:

Today, the company handles marketing procurement responsibilities for many major brands such as US Foods, National Vision Inc. (including Americas Best Eyeglasses and the eyeglass stores within 200 Walmart locations), Alliant Insurance, Jostens, Big Heart Pet Brands, Del Monte, 1800Flowers, Harry & David, Four Seasons Sunrooms, CNL Financial, Hospital Corporation of America and others.

Additional Resources:

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By Julie O'Hara

As marketing and procurement leaders work to drive results and value for their business, the print and marketing supply chain can be easily overlooked. A small minority of these supply chains are fully optimized – representing a big opportunity for brands to streamline costs and optimize budget allocation.

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