Recently, SupplyLogic and WebbMason Marketing announced the merger of the two industry leading companies.
What does it mean for the marketing execution managed service industry and the enterprises we serve? CEO Phil Schoonmaker shares his thoughts and insights in the following Q&A.
Q: Could you shed some light on the high growth we are seeing in your industry today and how it’s been impacted by COVID?
A: First, the trend toward outsourcing marketing execution is accelerating, and is currently at 10% growth YOY. Secondly, the overall market for marketing execution is enormous, significantly larger than most people think. There is $60BN of total market opportunity in the North American market, of which only $4BN is currently under management by companies in our industry. So, both the adoption rate of outsourcing and marketing execution spend are increasing.
This may sound counterintuitive, but our industry thrives during times of economic uncertainty. Given the general state of the economy and the after-effects of COVID (specifically the severe reduction in work force coupled with the tight hiring market), marketing departments are struggling to keep up with the workload. SupplyLogic solves this by operating on-site at our clients’ headquarters, as an extension of their marketing teams. We become the execution engine our of client’s marketing strategy by applying our suite of services: industry leading technology, ideation and creative services, strategic sourcing, vendor management, production management, kitting, warehousing and data analytics.
Q: SupplyLogic has been transforming as an organization, and now, we have this merger in the loop. There’s a lot of momentum here. Why WebbMason Marketing?
A: Our strategy since I took over as CEO in 2017 has been to grow both organically and through acquisition. SupplyLogic is owned by Inverness Graham, a private equity firm based in Philadelphia, PA. They have been amazing partners in support of this strategy. The acquisition of WebbMason Marketing is the next step in our journey. I am excited about WebbMason Marketing because:
- Like SupplyLogic, they have a great reputation in the marketplace, with long tenured and happy clients. They also have a great reputation within our industry, specifically how they treat their employees, partners, and suppliers.
- How complimentary our respective solution sets are. Both SupplyLogic and WebbMason Marketing solve marketing execution challenges for clients, albeit in a slightly different way. What I mean is that SupplyLogic focuses on enterprise managed services – meaning companies outsource the entire function of marketing execution to SupplyLogic, and we manage on-site as an extension of their marketing team. Whereas WebbMason marketing has developed a tech-enabled, multi-channel marketing solutions offering that helps companies achieve better outcomes such as improved speed to market and enhanced compliance. By combining our solutions, we can solve the entire spectrum of client challenges. We are going to very difficult to compete against.
- Thirdly, we have complimentary industry vertical expertise. SupplyLogic historically has focused on multi-location businesses in the restaurant, retail and consumer staples verticals, while WebbMason Marketing has focused on healthcare, non-profit and building services verticals.
Q: Can you share with us the key value drivers of the new combined company?
A: I like to look at it from the clients’ perspective, who are going to be the biggest beneficiaries of this acquisition:
- Scale matters in this industry. We have effectively doubled our buying power overnight.
- Enhanced technologies – both SupplyLogic and WebbMason have developed proprietary tech that we can now share across our collective client base.
- A broader and deeper solution set that now includes multi-channel capabilities and strong creative services offering.
All of these key value drivers, and others, will enable better outcomes for our clients – increased speed to market, reduced supply chain risk and best in market pricing.
Q: How will this merger benefit your employees?
A: Our people are our most valuable asset. Most of our people, whether on-site at our clients or part of our broader corporate structure, interact with our customers on a regular basis. You could argue that our people, and the expertise they bring to bear, is our main product. When I rank my responsibilities as CEO – creating and maintaining a great culture is my top priority. Everything positive flows downward from that.
This acquisition means more opportunities for our entire team. More great customers to work with, a new solution set to contribute to, and broader industry exposure. The possibilities for advancement are limitless.
Q: It is an interesting dynamic when your company’s culture directly influences your clients and maybe vice versa as well… Will this merger change your client experience, in your opinion?
A: I am constantly amazed by our team at SupplyLogic. And I don’t mean that from only a capabilities standpoint. I mean as people – genuinely good people who collaborate, support each other, and exemplify our corporate values. WebbMason Marketing has a very similar type of culture. Our now expanded team, which brings with it a more diverse set of experiences, industry backgrounds and best practices, will inevitably translate to a greater client experience.
Q: Phil, let’s talk about you. You have been leading SupplyLogic from the front, inspiring, influencing, and guiding many along the way. According to you, what are the biggest challenges a leader faces in times of growth and transformation?
A: It is my responsibility to constantly reinforce the importance of embracing change. Change and transformation can be scary. I understand that. But change also brings opportunity. Opportunity to grow, to adapt and become a more well-rounded teammate and person. And it can’t just be talk. We must provide those opportunities for growth and to empower our people to lean into change and transformation. I think that is how the best companies operate.
Engage the experts and unlock the hidden value in your marketing procurement and supply chain
SupplyLogic manages and optimizes marketing execution on an outsourced basis for Traditional Marketing categories including signage, point of sale materials and branded merchandise.
Our team includes six sigma certified process experts, strategic sourcing specialists with 15 or more years of experience procuring in our categories, business and financial strategists and human resources experts.
We currently serve a roster of national, blue chip clients across a variety of industries. Our solution addresses the needs of large, fragmented footprints and a need to execute distributed marketing campaigns quickly and efficiently.
If you have questions about risks currently embedded in your marketing procurement programs, processes and technologies, it’s time to talk.