Minority Business News Texas Volume II 2018
By Shannon Lowry
AT&T, Caterpillar, Samsung Electronics, John Deere, Best Buy, PepsiCo and Michelin are just a few of the top-tier companies that look to Group O Inc. as their single-source solution provider. As a leading business process outsourcer specializing in innovative solutions for marketing, supply-chain, packaging and mobile-device management, Group O makes noncore aspects of big business more efficient and cost-effective. Whether managing loyalty and incentive programs, inventory kitting and fulfillment, mobile-device provisioning or procurement and tail spend, Group O drives revenue and savings for the best-known brands through innovative technologies, processes, and expertise. Headquartered in Milan, Illinois, with major operations in Texas and Minnesota, Group O employs 1,200 professionals with diverse industry experience, providing world-class solutions to its clients. The company started simply enough. In 1974, Group O founder Bob Ontiveros began a small packaging business out of the back of his family station wagon. After being awarded lucrative outsourcing contracts for supply-chain functions from John Deere, Case International Harvester and Caterpillar plants in the 1980s, the company experienced exponential growth. In 1991, Ontiveros hired his son Gregg to manage the supply-chain business. Eight years later, Bob appointed Gregg as the company’s president. Today, Gregg Ontiveros is CEO of Group O.
New, big-picture reign
Due in part to Gregg’s interest in emerging technologies and his big-picture business acumen, Group O went from a $49 million company in 1999 to the thriving $700 million enterprise it is today. The company’s continuing success comes from challenging conventional wisdom to producing tailored solutions based on clients’ specific business challenges. By developing and investing in premier technology-based solutions, Group O can react quickly to new opportunities while driving new standards of excellence, he said. The company was recognized as a Regional Minority Supplier of the Year in 2011 by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Recently, Minority Business News USA asked Gregg Ontiveros to discuss the keys to Group O’s success.
Q: How did Group O progress from a packaging company in the ‘70s to an outsourcing supply-chain business crucial to the profitability and efficiency of so many major corporations?
Group O has grown organically, leveraging innovative thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and a can-do approach to addressing our clients’ unique challenges. Over the past 40-plus years, we have developed partnerships with companies in some of the fastest-growing and most visible industries. We work closely with our clients to identify pain points and opportunities for improvement, developing solutions that not only address these challenges but [also] create a sustainable and flexible environment for future needs. We have become experts in many areas, while continually learning and innovating. We are committed to delivering solutions that save our clients time and money while elevating their customers’ experiences.
Q: Your company has developed standardized high-tech processes for analyzing and streamlining how and where corporations spend their money. You’ve created highly efficient supply-chain management systems, optimal packaging solutions and managed internal/external incentive and loyalty programs. How did your company gain this wide-ranging expertise in so many different areas that impact big businesses?
Group O constantly evolves alongside our clients. As a business process outsourcing leader across a broad range of industries, we drive results and revenue with innovative solutions managed through multiple technology platforms. Whether in customer service, spend management, fulfillment or inventory management, Group O helps solve challenges for our clients while being receptive to change for ourselves. If we do that, we can deliver an enhanced environment for all our stakeholders, including our clients, employees and all the communities that we serve.
Q: Explain “tail spend” in layman terms.
Group O is experiencing significant growth in our Tail Spend Management services. Tail spend is an industry term describing any portion of an organization’s supply-chain spend that is not being actively or strategically managed. Typically, 80 percent of suppliers account for only 20 percent of spend. Since most companies only have the time and resources to manage high-spend, core suppliers, they miss out on opportunities for significant savings within the low-spend group of suppliers. These companies look to Group O to manage these opportunities for them. Tail spend is not a new concept — some organizations call it spend management or something similar — but it is gaining greater attention with industry leaders as a way to better manage supplier bases and gain additional insight into spend categories.
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