Hinda Incentives has announced that it has signed a LOI to acquire the Universal Rewards Exchange (URE) from Engagement Technology (ET) LLC, as well as a co-marketing agreement with ET’s parent company, Engagement Enterprises LLC, to support incentive, recognition, loyalty and other engagement solution providers with a full suite of state-of-the-art solutions to offer clients of all sizes. The URE will become a division of Hinda and its current management team, including Vice President of Sales Jim Kilmetis and Andrea Lightman, will lead the new Hinda division.
“The Universal Rewards Exchange has created a unique, transparent marketplace for the many incentive and other types of do-it-yourself solution providers who seek to have their own relationships with vendors, or who wish to utilize the catalog or front-end program management technology of their choice,” says Mike Donnelly, President of Hinda Incentives. “Our aim in this acquisition is to help make sure that this invaluable industry marketplace has the backing and resources to meet the growing demand for its services among solution providers and vendors. We look forward to working with all of the other wholesale suppliers in the URE marketplace to generate more volume for all and to improve efficiencies for the industry.”
Through the acquisition and marketing agreement, the two companies aim to help incentive, recognition, loyalty and other engagement solution providers expand their businesses by taking advantage of new front-end program management technologies and engagement methodologies that can significantly broaden the effective use of traditional incentive, recognition and loyalty programs to a far larger marketplace than traditionally served.
As part of the co-marketing agreement, Hinda will immediately add to its value chain network strategy the technology and marketing services of the URE’s parent company, Engagement Enterprises. These include the Solata Engagement Express and Portal program management technologies and the Engagement Agency licensee program, both of which are designed specifically for marketing, HR, recognition and other solution providers seeking to help clients achieve specific goals by integrating all of the traditional levers of engagement. The technology is specifically built to support the Engagement framework created by EE’s Enterprise Engagement Alliance curriculum development program.
The acquisition and marketing agreement demonstrates the commitment of both companies to helping incentive, recognition, loyalty and other engagement solution providers maximize their business opportunities by having access to the most complete suite of technologies and methodologies to help their clients of all sizes achieve the most measurable results.
The Universal Rewards Exchange, launched by Engagement Technology in 2010, is a virtual marketplace of rewards consisting of over 70 vendors and growing. It offers solution providers a choice between receiving real-time reward feeds or utilizing customized catalogs and a highly automated redemption system powered by a virtual logistics platform that serves up millions of merchandise, gift card, travel and digital rewards on a real-time basis. The URE is ideally suited for solution providers seeking a do-it-yourself, highly transparent pricing model and direct connections with suppliers.
The URE will now be able to offer its customers Hinda’s complete suite of full-service, customer service, award customization, pricing advantages and personalization services as needed for maximum program engagement. In turn, Hinda’s solution provider network will benefit from a new catalog platform for those who wish to manage award administration on their own, as well as a suite of front-end program management technologies to better measure the ROI of traditional incentive, recognition and loyalty programs.
Jim Kilmetis, a co-founder of the Universal Rewards Exchange, will join Hinda full time to head up sales, both for the URE and for Hinda’s full-service solution and other offerings. Says Hinda President Mike Donnelly: “Few people in the industry better understand the needs of our solution provider partners than Jim; he is dedicated to helping the industry grow, and understands all of the ways rewards, technology and well-designed programs provided by the companies in our value chain network can become a critical part of the success of our partners and their clients.
“This acquisition and our value-chain network strategy of integrating other solutions with our full-service rewards platform is part of a plan to support all of the various needs of our traditional incentive, recognition and rewards partners to improve efficiency and expand their business. It is also our goal to help our field get to the next level in terms of relevance by addressing the growing number of engagement solution providers and their clients that are embracing engagement as a more scientific away to achieve mission-critical goals,” Donnelly adds. “Carefully selected rewards delivered in a personal way offer a high level of long-term impact in terms of demonstrating an organization’s commitment to performance and loyalty. But without an effective program addressing all of the key areas of engagement in a measurable way, no organization can maximize results.”
In order to help educate all types of incentive, recognition and loyalty engagement solution providers and corporate practitioners on best practices, Hinda will be a sponsor of the Enterprise Engagement University and Rewards & Recognition Expo, being held April 14-16 in Denver. This expanded education and expo program is designed to address key ways for solution providers to expand their businesses and will offer an opportunity to introduce them to resources in Hinda’s value chain network and beyond.
“It’s clear that many CEOs now recognize the connection between engagement and performance, the question for them is how to make it happen” says Bruce Bolger, Principal of Engagement Enterprises. “With the support of Hinda, the URE can maximize its value proposition and growth opportunities to support the solution providers at the front lines of bringing these solutions to corporate America and who are essential to helping companies profit from engagement. This agreement will enable Engagement Enterprises to focus on serving the emerging engagement field through its media, outreach and technology services, as well as the Enterprise Engagement Alliance’s Enterprise Engagement textbook, online and face-to-face education, the People-Centric Awards and the Engaged Stock Index program.”
About Hinda Incentives
Established in 1970, Chicago-based Hinda Incentives (hinda.com) is one of the nation’s leading specialists in motivating and engaging employees, sales forces and providing incentives to dealers, distributors and consumers. Hinda’s web-based systems provide an efficient, immediate and effective way to manage incentive, recognition and loyalty programs. The Hinda Rewards Portfolio provides the most complete and engaging award offering in the marketplace, offering millions of engaging choices, including brand-name merchandise, instant, easy and intuitive digital awards, books and entertainment.