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Reply Group Experiences Exponential Growth Three Years After Moving to Auburn Hills

Since opening its first U.S. location in Auburn Hills, Reply Inc. has grown from one employee to 45 in three short years. The company, a subsidiary of Italian-based Reply Group, specializes in consulting, systems integration and application management for new communication networks and digital media including the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and social networking. In addition to Southeast Michigan, the company is poised to grow operations across the United States and recently opened another branch in Burr Ridge, Ill.

The company’s key to success was planting roots near the automotive capital of the world, while also servicing various industries with growing market segments in the region such as health care, manufacturing and IT.

As a supplier to Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US LLC), Reply Group was interested in entering the U.S. market to be closer to one of its key clients.

Gianluca Di Stefano, partner at Reply Inc., who spearheaded the move to Auburn Hills, credits the help of Automation Alley, the Detroit Regional Chamber and Oakland County for site selection assistance and facilitating connections with regional leaders. Di Stefano met Maureen Krauss, senior advisor of economic development for the Chamber, during one of the Chamber’s business attraction outreach trips to Italy, and said leveraging that relationship was critical when it came time to expand into the United States.

“In the beginning, when you decide to start an operation in a different country, you are focused solely on the practical things. I believe the Detroit Regional Chamber has been extremely helpful through events and introductions to their network and the Italian Consulate in Detroit, which has helped prepare the company to grow in Michigan first, but in the U.S. overall,” he stated.

Marketing the region collaboratively and providing connections to resources for international companies looking to enter the U.S. market – such as bankers, attorneys and accountants that are experienced in international transactions – is part of the Chamber’s overall business attraction strategy.

Reply Inc. is a positive example of a company that successfully entered the market with a two-year plan and experienced growth quickly.

“Through Automation Alley, we were also able to access the Technical Training Development Program (TTDP), a federal program that trains employees you hire with federal funding, which has been a major help in our success,” Di Stefano said.

“With all the support we received we were able to transform an idea into something concrete,” Di Stefano continued. “We came here convinced that as a company, we wanted to leverage these connections and quickly realized that more success has come from entering this market.”

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