30 Years, 60 Countries, 2 People

May-28-2013 | Comments: 0 | Posted In: Interviews with the Franklin Team | Posted By: Abbe Raabe
Don McCloskey and Danielle Milam manage ALL of Franklin Adhesives & Polymers’ international business in 60 countries. How do two people based in Columbus, OH manage our business in all 60 countries?

Simple, with the help of commissioned agents and distributors. These sales channels help focus a relatively large volume of sales to a relatively small number of “ship to” addresses.

The division currently has around 36 active distributors and representatives, both of which have their own sales force. They are not direct employees of Franklin Adhesives & Polymers, so our international duo works extremely hard to cultivate and maintain relationships with them.

While in Columbus, the duo focuses their energy on customer and distributor support, marketing and sales, operating and strategic planning, trouble shooting and personnel management, as well as initiating and driving new product development requests. They also train new representatives and distributors, and manage their efforts. When they are abroad, the team is finally able to take a hands-on approach and focus on giving technical presentations, participating in industry trade shows and holding customer and distributor meetings and product trials.

It goes without saying, conducting international business from Ohio can be tricky. Our international team has to problem-solve and continually think outside the box. For example, they must consider weather conditions all around the world because shipments may end up freezing. Also, short storage life products cannot be sold due to long transport time, so they must think of optimal products to offer, as well as what products would be beneficial for that region. Although working internationally does have its difficulty, there are also plenty of rewards. According to Danielle and Don, some of the most fulfilling parts of their job are selling Franklin products in a new country for the first time and establishing long-term customer relationships, as well as representatives and distributor relations. “I find it gratifying to hear feedback about the positive image we strive to create for Franklin Adhesives & Polymers, based on our ethics and the quality of our products,” stated Danielle Milam.

The international department was founded 30 years ago by Danielle and Don, who had a thirst for expanding Franklin’s global presence around the world. They have the experience, they have the knowledge and they have the relationships. Our duo is a well-oiled machine and only wants to keep expanding Franklin’s products into exciting new territories. We (our division) are optimistic about the future of our international group and look forward to the new opportunities they continually bring to Franklin.


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