Manufacturers Need Workers. Funding Large-Scale Training Programs May Be the Answer

Optimistic – that’s the word many manufacturers are using to describe their economic view of the next 12 months. According to the National Association of Manufacturers Q3 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 90 percent of respondents are positive about their own company’s outlook over the next year. The expected growth rate for production and sales is 4.5 percent, while the growth rate for capital investment over the same period is expected to be 2.7 percent.

But that doesn’t mean manufacturers aren’t facing tough challenges. Second only to rising healthcare costs, attracting and retaining a quality workforce was cited by 72 percent of respondents as their biggest overall business challenge. And that’s a hefty concern.

The manufacturing workforce has been impeded by two “waves” over the last 25 years –offshoring and automation with digitization. While more manufacturers are bringing jobs home today, the reality is that there is a gap between the existing available workforce and the skill sets necessary to meet the requirements of these positions.

Some progressive manufacturers, including some of our own customers, are responding to this challenge with big investments.

One example that’s received national attention is BMW’s U.S. manufacturing operations in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The company invested $1 billion in two years to increase the plant’s capacity to 450,000 vehicles, increase employment to 9,000 associates and add production of the new X7 line. Part of the company’s investment has been in the BMW Scholars Program – an opportunity for students earning a manufacturing-related degree to obtain tuition assistance, go to class full-time and work part-time at BMW Manufacturing. This program is a partnership with three local technical colleges in South Carolina and is successfully helping reinvigorate the region’s economy.

PrimeRevenue customer Michelin North America, also located in the upstate South Carolina corridor, offers something similar – the Michelin Technical Scholars Program, which provides opportunities for select students to develop hands-on work experience (with competitive pay) while earning their degree in Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering Technology (or Electronics Engineering Technology). Another customer, Mann + Hummel, has also made significant investments in educating a rising workforce through collegiate alliances in North Carolina.

To be effective and produce qualified workers who can close the skills gap that plagues many of today’s manufacturers, these programs demand significant capital investment. Educational partnerships, scholarships, on-the-job salary and wages, facilities and equipment…the list of projects that require funding goes on. For many manufacturers, new debt or cuts in other areas is not a viable solution.

This brings me back to a point my colleague, PrimeRevenue CFO Nathan Feather, made in a recent blog post entitled “Making the Case For Mavericks.” What do you do when your company needs not just a few million dollars, but $500 million or $1 billion? What happens when substantial funds have to be routed to critical problem-solving investments?

For many manufacturers, such as Michelin, AGCO and Mann + Hummel, the answer has been a supply chain finance program. Improved control over cash flow has enabled them to unlock billions in working capital – money that has been used to solve big business challenges. I should also note that it’s not just these large businesses that have benefited – their suppliers have also realized the transformative power of more control over their cash flow.

Manufacturers today have a lot of reasons to be optimistic – even in the face of challenges like attracting and retaining workers. A sizeable investment in this area today could change the landscape of the manufacturing workforce.

By PrimeRevenue
Published December 1, 2017

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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.