The Silicon Review
“AMS offers a suite of stand-alone or integrated, customizable solutions to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of the relationship.”
Large corporations are looking for smarter, simpler, and more agile and automated ways to improve how they work inside their organizations and with their strategic supplier relationships. Existing enterprise-grade procurement systems and tools are inadequate to address the nuances, complexities, and fast-changing requirements of strategic spend categories like advertising and marketing. In place of such antiquated approaches, flexible cloud-based solutions can be perfectly matched to their organizational realities and demands to facilitate the collaboration and timely exchange of information between marketing stakeholders and their agencies.
Agency Mania Solutions (AMS), a SaaS solutions provider, helps large corporations deploy customizable software that enables more effective management of companies’ global strategic supplier partnerships.
Looking to realize the transformational value of effectively managed and streamlined partnerships, the largest brands in the world have put their trust in AMS, including IBM, American Express, Gilead Sciences, Dell, AT&T, Toyota, Warner Bros. Discovery, and many others. AMS is fundamentally changing how companies interact and collaborate with their agency partners so the value of these partnerships can exponentially grow.
AMS was named after a book, Agency Mania, written by co-founder and principal Bruno Gralpois during his decade-long tenure at Microsoft. Now in its second edition, the book spells out best practices on how to improve the client–agency relationship and drive greater value from such partnerships. When AMS was created, its three co-founders shared a bold vision to bring to life industry best practices so every company could benefit. Today, AMS is not only finding ways to automate the most common aspects of the relationship between a company and its strategic partners, but it is also developing innovative means to deepen the relationship, streamline it, and extract actionable insight that turns relationships into growth engines.
The Silicon Review reached out to AMS at its Bellevue, Washington, headquarters and spoke with Gralpois and fellow co-founders Shaun Wolfe, and Teri Wiegman. Here’s what they said.
Q. Mr. Gralpois, what groundbreaking and proactive methodology does Agency Mania implement to meet and exceed its clients’ expectations?
AMS is uniquely situated in the market as the ideal platform to best serve the organizational challenges of the largest brands in the world and their ecosystem of agencies and marketing suppliers. We achieve this through the custom nature of our software and the ability to strategically implement solutions tailored to each client’s needs and operating model. This in turn drives adoption, ease of use, flexibility, and agility to evolve with the client and stay relevant. This custom approach makes our solutions superior, as adaptability and conformity to the client’s needs are a priority for this category. Our competitors’ off-the-shelf software simply fails to deliver the unique characteristics that contribute to the making of a successful, long-term solution for large, complex organizations and ecosystems of agencies.
Q. How does Agency Mania help large brands deploy customizable software to enable more effective management of their global strategic supplier partnerships, Ms. Wiegman?
AMS offers a suite of stand-alone or integrated customizable solutions to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of the relationship. From choosing the right agency to managing a roster of global partners, our cloud-based software platform allows advertisers to accurately scope and monitor global campaign work and effectively manage supplier resources and related financials. Marketing and procurement know the real-time status of project milestones, deliverables, and budget. Other capabilities include robust agency performance management, briefing, contract management, KPI tracking, and more. AMS replaces laborious, error-prone, and wasteful manual processes with far more effective automated solutions to free up valuable resources (budgets or people) and drive efficiencies and savings across the enterprise. Our clients realize a full range of benefits, including reducing time and resource churn, collaborating more effectively with agency partners, driving cost efficiencies and performance, and ultimately achieving better marketing outcomes.
Q. Mr. Wolfe, can you provide us with one or two success stories describing the challenges your clients faced and how your solutions helped them overcome those challenges?
By using Agency Mania Solutions’ end-to-end financial, resource planning, and management solution, called ScopeDeliver, our client Toyota was able to establish the best-in-class scope of work and agency financial workflows and processes for long-term success. As one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world, Toyota sought to simplify and improve the process by which its marketing and procurement teams capture, monitor, and manage scope and fee activities with agency partners. ScopeDeliver provided a timely, actionable view of agency spending, increasing transparency and accountability to make informed decisions with agency partners about the work and resources needed.
Another global company, Dell, came to AMS facing the challenge of helping its fast-paced global marketing team find the right agencies to carry on various marketing assignments, from campaigns to projects. Dell needed an easy-to-use, online agency roster solution to reduce time and resource churn, as well as solve greater business problems such as lack of governance, internal compliance, and dilution of buying power. After implementing RosterDeliver, Dell realized a shift of 85% of its spending to preferred partners, achieved a 20% reduction in its overall number of tail partners, and increased the engagement and satisfaction of partners and stakeholders. RosterDeliver makes agency search and selection easier and more convenient, promotes agencies by best capabilities or experience, provides the ability to source from prospective, approved agencies, and ensures up-to-date agency information is available.
Q. Where do you see Agency Mania Solutions a couple of years from now, Mr. Gralpois?
AMS has already established itself as the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for marketing procurement and agency management. The company will expand its client portfolio in several key industry verticals, like pharmaceutical, technology, financial services, and highly innovative industries. AMS will also expand its footprint outside of North America, in EMEA and APAC markets, where demand is increasing. As companies realize the power and substantial benefits of building custom solutions to manage strategic partnerships, they are likely to expand the use and reach of their capabilities beyond agencies to other strategic supplier categories like marketing technology, IT, and consulting services.
Leadership | Agency Mania Solutions
Shaun Wolfe, Co-Founder & Principal: Shaun’s experience in the high-tech world spans 30 years, multiple continents, a half-dozen startups, more than 50 major product launches, multiple mergers and acquisitions, enterprise and consumer software, and CEO leadership for small to $800 million-plus companies. He is the former president and CEO of WRQ Inc., a global enterprise software company (sold to Francisco Partners and later merged with Attachmate). Shaun combines extensive business experience with rich software knowledge to deliver practical and effective automated solutions to the market.
Teri Wiegman, Co-Founder & Principal: A former CEO of Rhythm Consulting Group and former VP of The Resonance Group, Teri has provided agency management consulting services to Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft, Visa, and HP. She is an expert in developing and implementing robust agency management strategies, frameworks, and programs. On the client side, Teri served as VP of marketing for Onvia, a leading publicly traded provider of comprehensive government sales intelligence. She also worked as VP of marketing for Content Technologies, a leader in email security software.
Bruno Gralpois, Co-Founder & Principal: Bruno has been instrumental in establishing agency management as a central global discipline for many of the top 200 advertisers. This dedication to improving advertiser–agency relationships has elevated him as an expert in the industry. He is the acclaimed author of Agency Mania, was the head of global marketing and operations at Visa Inc. and director of global agency strategy at Microsoft, and in other leadership positions in pre-IPO high-tech companies.