Skip to comments.Ann Arbor's LLamasoft lands major investment, hiring 100 people in 2017
Posted on 06/22/2017 10:37:34 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
ANN ARBOR, MI - 2017 has already been a big year for LLamasoft.
The Ann Arbor-based software company is assisting more customers than ever with supply chain management, developing new applications and hiring more employees to fill its headquarters at the McKinley Towne Center.
Toby Brzoznowski is co-founder and executive vice president of LLamasoft, and told The Ann Arbor News Monday, June 12, that so many announcements to share is a "good problem to have."
Probably the biggest news is LLamasoft's new partnership with TPG Capital, the investment company behind Uber, McAfee and Airbnb. The deal officially closed June 1 with TPG now controlling a majority stake of the company.
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. A written statement released by LLamasoft states Goldman Sachs remains a shareholder in the company.
"This investment and partnership with TPG is a great thing for our customers and the supply chain software market as a whole because we share the vision that supply chain leaders need new disruptive technology that provides better access to information and more advanced capabilities to analyze and optimize their entire supply chain," said Don Hicks, LLamasoft CEO, in the statement.
It is TPG's second investment in supply chain technology. The investment firm also controls a majority stake of Transporeon, a European cloud-based business network.
According to Brzoznowski, TPG Capital is one of the most respected tech investment firms in the industry.
"When they decided to get into the supply chain technology space, and looked around at all the partners, they saw LLamasoft as a company that could be a platform," Brzoznowski said. "They've invested in the company, taking on leadership positions in the board and will help drive the next five to ten years' worth of growth."
The report was created by CB Insights, a New York-based company that analyzes customer information and performs research to assist corporations.
What does the next decade look like for one of Ann Arbor's largest software firms? More of the same, Brzoznowski said, but perhaps on a faster scale.
"We're really looking at continued growth, doubling down on innovation and investment in technology," he said. "It's about expanding both our technology portfolio as well as our support organization around the world."
He cited a rapidly growing customer base, with about 30 to 40 clients each quarter over the past year, that has meant additional feedback on LLamasoft products and ideas for new applications to assist companies with their supply chain needs.
LLamasoft now has more than 700 customers globally, Brzoznowski said.
"I think the acceleration will continue for some time," he added.
New products and applications means the company also needs more employees to help with developing the software, walking customers through its use and working as a global team to promote its Supply Chain Guru program.
Brzoznowski expects LLamasoft to continue its hiring trend into the rest of 2017, and said the company has averaged between 75 and 100 news hires over the last two years.
"That trend is continuing this year. We'll probably add around 100 new employees in 2017," he said. "The growth we're on is really significant, double-digit growth that requires more talent, and more talent globally."
It was a year ago LLamasoft moved into the MicKinley Towne Center at 401 E. Liberty, into a space formerly occupied by Google. That gave the company a lot of room for growth in Ann Arbor, where Brzoznowski said "a lot of engineering and support happens."
His team is keeping an eye out during Ann Arbor events like Tech Trek, organized by Ann Arbor SPARK, for new talent that can keep driving LLamasoft's momentum.
"We're no doubt certainly always looking for top talent in a number of different areas. It's not just about programming, it's in consulting support and customer support, finance, HR," Brzoznowski said. "Everything you need to run a global business."
Brzoznowski and the LLamasoft team are also readying for the trainings, speakers and presentations that make up the company's three-day SummerCon event, June 14-16 in Detroit.
As a global leader in supply chain design, Brzoznowski said SummerCon gives its customers a chance to network with other users and train to use LLamasoft products and applications with help from company officials.
It is the seventh year for the event, attended by more than 600 people from at least 15 different countries. Last year, it took place in New Orleans but a decision was made to bring SummerCon back to Michigan.
"It's really the place to get together to understand what are the best practices and what other people are doing around the world to model, analyze and design their supply chains," Brzoznowski said. "There's about 20 simultaneous tracks of trainings people are participating in over the next few days."
Customers such as General Motors, Cabela's, Whirlpool and The Dow Chemical Co. plan to share their own experiences working with the supply chain software developed by LLamasoft.
One highlight of the event is a keynote speaker who Brzoznowski said brings global supply chain and economic experience: Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, secured as a speaker for this year's SummerCon in 2016.
"At that time, obviously as the presidential campaign was in full swing, the global economy and manufacturing outside of the U.S. becoming a very interesting topic," Brzoznowski said. "We thought it was appropriate, regardless of the election."
SummerCon is about providing different points of view for LLamasoft customers, he added.
"These people sit around all day deep in the middle of supply chain challenges and crises within their companies and this is one of the few opportunities they get to step away from that, put their heads up and get a chance to look around and see what others are doing and get some new perspectives," said Brzoznowski.
The company plans to unveil the next generation of its supply chain design technology, Supply Chain Guru X, along with two new applications coming out in the second half of 2017 that will allow companies to see their own supply chain logistics in one place.
Updates for popular products like Supply Chain Guru X come straight from surveying LLamasoft's 700-plus customers, Brzoznowski said.
That kind of customer feedback is a core part of the business and one that allows LLamasoft to engage more deeply and better their own portfolio.
"When we started, there were a few individuals modeling chain and using products that are now global centers of excellence," Brzoznowski said. "What we've found is by getting people to think more clearly and model supply chain, it introduces them to better ways for visibility and planning."
You say LLama, someone else will be saying Yama until they find out what’s accepted.
Good news about the jobs.
Swell- now my LlamaItchy business will have competition-
100 here, 1,000 there, 250 there, it all adds up. Sounds like these might pay well too.
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