Howard, Merrell’s Designs On SDRC Software Are Realized In $4-5 Mil. Account Victory

Howard, Merrell & Partners landed its second client in a month with the acquisition last week of SDRC, a Cincinnati-based supplier of product design and manufacturing software. Billings are estimated between $4-5 million.
The win comes on the heels of the acquisition of MacGregor’s golf business last month, an advertising account expected to bill in excess of $10 million next year.
The other three agencies that made the final round of the review were Kearns Design of Dayton, Ohio, and two New York shops–Angotti, Thomas, Hedge and M&C/Saatchi.
Kearns had done some work with the client in the past, but Howard, Merrell & Partners (HM&P) of Raleigh, N.C., represents the first agency-of-record relationship the client has had since 1993.
“What separated [the agency] from the rest of the field was [its] thorough research and understanding of SDRC as a global company,” said client president and chief executive officer Bill Weyand.
The company’s software is aimed primarily at the automotive design field. It allows engineers, whether side by side or around the world, to work in unison on mechanical designs.
“[SDRC is] working with a number of major corporations around the world,” said agency creative director Scott Crawford. For example, the firm now has 150 people working with Ford [at its headquarters]. The software “realizes the promise of technology and greatly reduces the time it takes to get products to market.”
Crawford said the agency’s initial work will roll out in two stages during the first quarter of 1998: internally to the SDRC sales force and then into consumer business publications and the vertical trade press.
“The ads will show up basically anyplace where you have a hard product with a physical design element,” Crawford said.
The win puts the agency’s bill-ings at nearly $84 million.