True believer Featured

12:56pm EDT June 26, 2006
Michael Ferro recognized the potential of the Internet as a business tool back in the early ‘90s.

In fact, he left his job with a large manufacturer to found Click Commerce on the premise of providing manufacturers an automated way to check product information, parts availability, shipping schedules and pricing online.

His first customer, a European boat manufacturer, needed a solution that incorporated eight languages and calculated prices in 13 currencies. Potential partners Ferro needed to handle the translation portion were so skeptical about the Internet that he was forced to do the work in-house. The result was his client became one of the first companies in the world with 24/7 Internet access to its parts catalog.

Originally, Ferro, who serves as the company’s chairman and CEO, faced the challenges of selling not only his own extranet ideas, but also the future value and safety of the Internet. He has faced early adopter issues at each stage of Click Commerce’s growth and has had to continually evolve the company to meet new customers’ demands and take advantage of the latest technology.

For example, the company now offers on-demand supply chain, demand chain and service supply chain solutions that enable millions of users around the world to collaborate in real time with partners across their companies.

His never-wavering belief in his company and a commitment to innovation has led Click Commerce from a startup to a publicly traded company with more than 1,500 clients and 300 employees offering services in 15 languages around the world. The company has posted 11 consecutive quarters of growth and 10 of profitability.

How to reach: Click Commerce, (312) 377-3955 or