Disruption in Dairy Forces an Expensive and Strategic Shift

Battling falling conventional fluid milk sales, overproduction and increasing competition from traditional rivals and retail giants, these companies are overhauling their businesses.

Dean Foods, the U.S.’s largest domestic processor and distributor of dairy products, has responded by consolidating cost controls and operations. They’re pushing premium milk brands and pivoting aggressively into new food and beverage categories such as ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese and juice.

Similarly, last year Irish milk marketing co-op Glanbia acquired Grass Advantage, a plant-based nutrition product maker known for the Amazing Grass superfood bars, and Body & Fit, a consumer direct brand focused on performance nutrition.

Further, after years of acquiring multiple dairy companies, milk marketing co-op Dairy Farmers of America, has added probiotic milk and frappuccinos to their lineup. A few months ago, they also recently bought Cumberland Dairy, a family-owned producer of ultra-pasteurized food and beverage, to expand in extended shelf-life processing.

Lastly, during the past few years, Organic Valley, the U.S.’s largest farmer-owned organic co-op, added the Grassmilk line of organic grass-fed milk, yogurt and cheese, along with Organic Fuel and Organic Balance ready-to-drink (RTD) products to capitalize on favorable grab-and-go convenience trends.

How are dairy companies funding this monumental shift?

Looking at Dean specifically – their aggressive reset calls for an enterprise-wide cost productivity plan slated to generate an incremental $150 million in annual run-rate savings by 2020. CEO Ralph Scozzafava said during the dairy giant’s fourth quarter earnings call that he expects to achieve one-third of the savings this year and the remaining two-thirds in 2019. The big, one-time investment will impact short-term free cash flow performance, creating a runway for increased productivity in 2019 and beyond.

This multi-year, methodical approach to finding efficiencies and reallocating waste into driving growth is crucial for Dean and their competitors to compete in the changing market. But is it enough?

For Dean, recent deals such as organic juice company Uncle Matt’s Organic and a minority stake in Good Karma Foods, a producer of flaxseed-based, dairy alternative food and beverage products, haven’t made much of an impact yet. A bigger acquisition that can better prepare the dairy giant to respond to today’s consumers may be in order.

But, are these cost reduction initiatives enough to free up sufficient working capital for a bigger deal? Is this savings strategy enough for rivals to pivot without taking on crippling debt?

Another innovative way to generate millions of dollars without negatively impacting the balance sheet or increasing financial debt is supply chain finance (SCF).  SCF improves cash flow by allowing dairy companies to extend supplier payment terms, while offering suppliers a way to accelerate their own cash flow.

The first step for the company implementing an SCF program is initiating longer supplier payment terms, such as extending terms from 30 to 90 days. This allows the company to free up cash to use for strategic initiatives, such as new equipment, product development and M&A activity. Next, the company provides suppliers a way to mitigate the impact of longer payment terms.

Suppliers that participate in the SCF program can be paid early by a funder – often as early as the day after an invoice is approved by the buyer. Further, suppliers can accelerate payment on some, all or none of their receivables. For those receivables that are paid early, the supplier pays a small finance fee.

And, PrimeRevenue’s bank-agnostic SCF platform offers access to multiple and more varied sources of funding, giving dairy producers and their suppliers the flexibility and control needed to unlock more cash than they could with a closed bank proprietary platform.

Both sides win because both sides have increased access to working capital. As legacy milk companies combat disruptive change and evolve to meet the demands of today’s consumers, it’s crucial to tap new, game-changing funding solutions such as supply chain finance.

If you’d like to read more on the disruption taking place in the dairy industry, check out my article published on DairyBusiness.


By Brian Medley
Published May 29, 2018

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Stephanie Wargo

VP, Global Head of Marketing

Stephanie joined PrimeRevenue in 2015 and oversees the company’s global marketing team and strategy. With a data-driven approach, Stephanie focuses on demand generation and thought leadership to drive brand awareness, strengthen client/partner relationships, and generate new sales opportunities. Stephanie has guided PrimeRevenue through new technology releases and an evolving FinTech landscape. In addition to leading PrimeRevenue’s internal and external communications, she implemented innovative demand generation and marketing strategies to enhance the company’s overall sales pipeline.

Stephanie has extensive experience in marketing and customer success. She previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at BitPay and Vice President of Client Relations and Marketing at FirstView Financial. Stephanie earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Brian Medley

VP, Global Head of Sales

Brian joined PrimeRevenue in early 2012, after more than 20 years of sales leadership, executive-level consultant and business growth experience. As VP, Global Head of Sales, Brian leads a growing team of fintech sales professionals with a focus on developing strong customer relationships, improving sales predictability and helping PrimeRevenue enter the lucrative mid-market.

Prior to PrimeRevenue, Brian honed his enterprise software sales leadership skills at Clarus Corporation. He also served as an operations and IT management consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates. In addition to his sales and consulting background, Brian has deep experience in the financial industry having founded a successful residential mortgage broker and lending business. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology having earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Economics and M.B.A. in Global Business.

Jason Green

SVP, Global Customer Success

Jason joined PrimeRevenue in 2021 following more than two decades in the fintech/financial services industry. He brings a strong background is sales leadership due to his impressive relationship building capability as well as a successful track record in creating structure and process improvements. In his role, Jason uses his keen attention to detail to strengthen the customer experience and enhance the company’s solutions to deliver more value to clients.

Prior to joining the company, Jason held several senior level and executive roles with a focus on building and scaling sales and support organizations at both large and small companies. Jason graduated from Murray State University with a B.S in Marketing.

Matt Ford

SVP, Global Product Innovation

Matt joined PrimeRevenue in early 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all commercial, strategic and operational aspects of PrimeRevenue’s supply chain finance offerings throughout EMEA, based in Prague. He has been instrumental in gaining global alignment and developing supplier enablement processes for the region.

Matt joined PrimeRevenue following a 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in fixed income operations covering debt syndication through bonds, EMTNS, corporate loans and other debt securitization. Notably, he set up non-core location operations in Europe (Budapest) and all lending operations in Baltimore from scratch.

Matt, who was born and raised in South East England, earned a B.S. in Sports Science at University of Teesside where he mastered the art of TEAM development and accountability as a youth international rugby player.

Dominic Capolongo

EVP, Global Head of Funding

Dominic joined PrimeRevenue in 2016, and is responsible for leading our bank and capital markets funding strategies and execution. He focuses on building global, scalable and highly efficient funding structures that maximize options for supporting PrimeRevenue’s programs. Dominic began his career as an attorney and was a partner with Kaye Scholer before joining DLJ as a senior banker. Dominic brings tremendous strategic and capital markets experience in all areas of finance having held senior positions at, among others, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets in addition to DLJ. Dominic earned a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA from SUNY Binghamton.

Gavin Cicchinelli

Chief Operating Officer

Gavin joined PrimeRevenue as Chief Operating Officer in 2021. With more than two decades of leadership and executive experience along with a deep understanding of the payments space, Gavin provides a unique focus on improving and strengthening operational strategies and implementing GTM growth execution. He is responsible for leading transformation across corporate and operational strategies as well as building a repeatable and scalable commercial growth strategy that aligns with PrimeRevenue’s core business while delivering key adjacent growth opportunities.

Prior to joining PrimeRevenue, Gavin served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Integrated Solutions at TSYS, a global payment processing services company acquired by Global Payments (NYSE:GPN). There, he also served as Head of Product and divisional COO. Throughout his career, Gavin has held multiple leadership positions including VP of Sales, SVP of Business Development, and President of Financial Institutions. Gavin graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

David Quillian

Chief Legal Officer

David joined PrimeRevenue as General Counsel in 2007. He and his team have been instrumental in successfully creating the unique legal structures that support PrimeRevenue’s multi-funder model and global funding capabilities. David is also the lead named inventor on PrimeRevenue’s two patents for Electronic Time Drafts, which allow PrimeRevenue to manage supply chain finance programs using electronic negotiable instruments as opposed to accounts receivable. Prior to PrimeRevenue, David was General Counsel at Harbor Payments, which was acquired by American Express (AXP) in 2006, and Magnet Communications, which was acquired by Digital Insight (DGIN) in 2003. He holds degrees in Economics and History from Duke University, and Juris Doctor and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Feather


Nathan has successfully ushered PrimeRevenue from our very early days as a visionary startup, through the financial crisis to today’s position as a thriving mid-sized leader in the cloud-enabled supply chain finance marketplace since joining PrimeRevenue in January 2006. He was instrumental in recapitalizing the company with an $80M investment led by BBH Capital Partners in 2015. Prior to PrimeRevenue, he held various financial management roles with Ariba, Freemarkets and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Nathan holds a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

PJ Bain


PJ has an impressive and accomplished track record as an enterprise software entrepreneur and executive. PJ has built a solid record of success with PrimeRevenue since being appointed Chief Executive Officer in July of 2009. The company has received numerous awards for growth, customer service, innovation, along with being recognized as a top employer.

PJ is a life-long software and technology entrepreneur having been involved in numerous firms in the roles of founder, executive, advisor and investor. Immediately prior to PrimeRevenue, PJ was the VP and General Manager of Exact Holding N.V. (NYSE/AMS: EXACT), a leading global provider of business software solutions. He was previously Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based, B2B software and services firm that grew to be the largest reseller of Exact Software in North America, later acquired by Exact. PJ holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.