Midwest Growth Partners Overview
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa & Omaha, Nebraska
Investment Stage: Succession, Minority or Majority Growth Equity, Subordinate Debt
Investor Type: Private Equity
Year Implemented: 2019
Implementation: Data Management & Email Marketing
# of users: 9
Midwest Growth Partners Addresses Data and Communication Challenges With “Dynamic” Solution
About Midwest Growth Partners
Midwest Growth Partners’ (“MGP) vision is to be the preeminent alternative asset manager serving overlooked geographies. Today, MGP manages two lower middle market investment funds that make individual equity and debt investments ranging in size from $500,000 to $12,000,000 in the food & agricultural, manufacturing, and distribution sectors. The firm also co-invests in larger opportunities. Its investments included a focus on facilitating orderly business success planning transactions as well as minority or majority growth equity and subordinated debt investments in established and growing businesses. MGP has intentionally positioned itself to offer situationally correct capital structures for each company.
Its unique flexible capital approach and uniquely qualified investment team with deep food & agricultural networks in underserved rural markets separates it from other traditional private equity funds and allows the firm to be highly entrepreneurial in its investment strategy.
According to Ben Fogle (MGP Partner and Investment Committee member), MGP was similar to many firms, in that MGP struggled with “stale and dispersed” data—information maintained in a variety of spreadsheets, Outlook calendars, and contact records, and other sources. Not surprisingly, it was difficult to keep important information accurate, organized, and accessible by team members. Further, as MGP continued to grow and scale, it needed a better way to share communication and interaction touchpoints across the platform.
According to Fogle, the firm had grown beyond the existing technology tools it had relied on for the last six years, including the firm’s origination and deal pipeline tracking which was was “spreadsheet-driven, clunky, and time-consuming”. Further, as team members joined and left the firm, MGP was seeking improved retention of, and business continuity gained by a fully centralized and integrated CRM operating system.
MGP came to Altvia looking for an advanced solution for data management and communication. After conversations around challenges and potential solutions, the firm implemented Altvia’s CRM and Email Marketing tool. “Quickly we realized that all of our data needed to be in the CRM and no longer maintained in spreadsheets,” says MGP’s Office Manager Colleen Dougherty. “We accomplished that shift and then integrated Altvia quick hit “refreshers” to introduce or highlight user interface, how-to, and features of the Altvia platform. Before long, everyone in the firm recognized the tangible value and became strong users of the technology.”
MGP team members each leverage the platform a bit differently, from pulling a calling list in a certain city, to tracking follow-up tasks, to mass communication to our network with “tombstone announcements” regarding the firm’s most recent acquisitions. “We got a dozen new deal referrals from our last deal announcement,” Dougherty adds.
The Altvia platform helps MGP perform a wide variety of functions more efficiently, including report generation. “The system improves operations on the deal side tremendously,” says Fogle. “That includes helping us keep our pipeline organized. With the click of a button, we can generate a dynamic report.”
The seamless sharing of information between solution components also benefits MGP.
“The integration of the email marketing tool with the CRM increased the speed we deliver relevant, market-focused news to stakeholders,” Fogle explains. “We’re much faster in making deal announcements and team announcements, and those kinds of communications have delivered significant ROI from their generation of proprietary leads.”
As for Fogle’s advice for industry peers about the implementation of purpose-built private equity technology, he says it’s vital for firms to “walk before they run” with new systems. To that end, it’s important to have an internal platform expert and champion who can facilitate communication and interactions between the firm and the solution provider. He also mentions that attentive customer support is essential. “Having a dedicated support person has been invaluable to us.”