Alltech, Inc. develops agricultural and agro-industrial products and services for use in both livestock and crop farming, as well as products for the food industry. Headquartered in Nicholasville, Kentucky, and founded in 1980, Alltech today is a global team of 6,000+ people who share the vision of sustaining and nourishing the world’s plants, animals, and people. Alltech’s mission is based on what they refer to as the “ACE principle”, which is their promise that their business has a positive impact on the Animal, the Consumer, and the Environment.
Pamela Sargent, Corporate Compliance Manager at Alltech, has nearly 30 years’ experience in corporate governance. However, years before deploying Diligent Entities, Sargent and her Alltech colleagues faced obstacles in managing entities with an outdated approach.
“Everything was on paper back then and putting all the information together was extremely difficult,” recounts Sargent. “We have about 125 entities and we’re located in over 80 countries.”
Sargent also faced obstacles whenever a board director or an executive requested information.
“In those situations, I would often have to call somebody to help look for it,” explains Sargent. “For example, calling our corporate counsel in South Africa and asking for something they prepared 10 years ago and then having them look for it.” Overall, according to Sargent, trying to compile, manage, and store all the entity related information for locations around the globe was a difficult task. Also, as the company grew, so did the demands for compliance.
“We were paper-based with the information binders that we put together and just finding them was time-consuming and difficult,” she says. “We didn’t even have a list of all of the companies that we had around the world because we started from the ground up. I knew that I had to find some sort of software and a new approach to help me pull all of this together.”
Alltech evaluated a few digital solutions in the marketplace to help with their entity governance needs.
“Entities was what we decided on and I think it was the smartest move we made,” admits Sargent.
Adoption took a little time because many of the stakeholders were used to the previous paper-based approach. However, as Sargent recounts, “Once we did, we were able to learn all the different things that we can do with Diligent Entities such as the reporting, the structure charting, and the playbook.”
With Entities in place, Alltech has experienced a variety of benefits such as better reporting, organization, security, governance, and more.
“What I love about Entities is having one place for all our documents,” she says. “Since it’s paperless, you can go in, look around, and get the information you need quickly.”
Sargent is also a strong advocate of the reporting feature and the improved security via Entities.
“I use the Reporting feature all the time,” she says. “I can quickly run reports, provide that information to people all over the world. And, of course, Entities’ security allows certain
authorization of users to access information themselves. It’s helped with keeping private information secure and in the right hands.”
Before making the digital switch, Sargent says that her organization structure chart used to fit on one legal size sheet of paper. But times have changed.
“My favourite thing about Entities is the org charting,” she says. “Today, our own organization chart is nearly four feet long. Thankfully, with Entities, you can include a lot of
information with ledgers etc. The org charting and playbook are two features that make me look like a rock star.”
In addition to better communication, Entities has also helped Alltech achieve higher levels of governance.
“It also makes it easier to have one storage place for all of our documents. Entities has improved our corporate governance system. We also have policies and procedures for making a change. Whether it’s an officer, director or a regulatory change, we have those all in Entities so people know what steps need to be taken, who to contact, and the process to make the change.”
Alltech’s Corporate Compliance Manager is thankful for partnering with Diligent and deploying Entities. Pamela Sargent is also adamant about continuing to use Entities today and tomorrow.
Because we had never used any sort of electronic governance system before and we had looked at a couple of different apps, Diligent Entities was the best,” she says. “People will still call us and recommend us to try their solution, but nobody really can do it. Diligent delivers exactly what we want, and I can’t imagine not being with Entities.”
Alltech selected Diligent and after implementing, the organization’s board directors and legal and finance teams experienced key benefits including:
– Deployed a digital storage place
– Increased governance for procedures and policies
– Removed the need to manually search and send information
– Augmented director engagement with board-related information
– Increased organization of documents and workflow
– Experienced top-level cybersecurity to keep information secure