Almost a dozen years ago, Rogers led a massive strategy project for an Accenture client company, whose management team was so pleased with the plan that it asked Rogers to execute the strategy. “They kind of called me out,” he jokes.
The agribusiness company actually thought that it was an excellent plan, a belief it backed up by funding the execution of the strategy, which included the development of new consumer markets. Rogers, then a 28-year-old whose professional experience consisted entirely of consulting, accepted the offer. He spent the next six years putting his strategy into play. Along the way, he hired strategy and technology consultants.
“I’ve always been a bit of an efficiency freak,” Rogers admits. “And I think that the fundamental tenets of efficiency are somewhat lost in significant consulting engagements. If you buy a boiler and it doesn’t work, you generally have a warranty. In a worst case, you can depreciate it faster.”
His six years on the client side taught him that faulty intellectual property was more difficult to correct and ultimately more costly.
“I also learned that executing a strategy is actually tougher than developing a strategy, in many cases,” he recalls.
Not only did Rogers inject that appreciation into his new firm’s business approach, but he has also sought out seasoned consultants with industry experience. About 75 percent of his 30-member senior team have a top-tier consulting pedigree, and most, Rogers notes, “have the blood on their hands of owning a P&L” in industry.
“That experience tends to drive a much more efficient and pragmatic solution,” he adds. “And you tend to retain a more acute focus on return on capital. I gained that passion more so during my time as a client than I did in my previous work as a service provider.”
Adjoined’s 300-plus consultants provide strategy services (20 percent of the firm’s work), technology services (50 percent), and outsourcing (30 percent). The Miami-based firm, whose annual revenue Rogers expects to surpass $70 million this year, operates offices in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Tampa, and owns data centers in Boston and Phoenix. Clients include Barnes & Noble, Sysco Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Tyco, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Ericsson, and many other big names.
Rogers speaks like, well, the CEO of a consulting firm. But his passion for the profession and, more specifically, the importance of “creating a superior return on our clients’ deployed capital,” mask a blue-collar upbringing (the Yonkers native was the first on either side of his parents’ families to attend college) that also informs his business relationships.
“I think that those who fail in our profession are those who don’t have the flexibility to go beyond the letter of the contract when a situation moves from difficult to intense,” he says. “My handshake is worth more than any piece of paper.”
Adjoined’s growing client roster seems to appreciate the efficiency of Rogers’s simple but meaningful gesture.