Who We Are
65 Years of Insight, Service and Expertise
The Spirit of Innovation that Launched ADP Continues Today
What began as a spark of an idea in 1949, grew to ignite an entire industry of outsourcing services, and changed the way companies do business. This is our story, which began over six decades ago, and continues into the future, fueled by insight, innovation, service and success. In 2014, ADP celebrated 65 years in business, served 620,000 customers in 125 countries, and counted 15 years of having cloud-based software.
1949 - 1959
Transforming an Idea into an Industry
Henry Taub Sees An Opportunity
Like all great enterprises, ADP began with an idea. One day, 21 year-old Henry Taub visited a company where a key employee had taken ill. The payroll wasn't done, and the workers weren't paid on time. Where others saw a problem, Henry saw opportunity, and launched Automatic Payrolls, Inc, a manual payroll processing service.
First Headquarters: Office space above Grinker's Ice Cream Parlor on Church Street in Paterson, New Jersey
State of the Art Bookkeeping
Automatic Payrolls initial equipment was unpretentious, yet state-of-the-art for its day. It included an Underwood bookkeeping machine, a few Friden calculators to handle numerical extensions, and an Addressograph to print checks. Several years later, the company would invest in comptometers, a next generation bookkeeping machine.
Initial equipment was unpretentious, but state-of-the-art for its day.
Comptometers, the next generation of bookkeeping machines
The company doubled its office space, moving from the space above Grinker's into the basement of Carroll Plaza Hotel on Market Street in Paterson.
Equipment included an Underwood bookkeeping machine, Friden calculators, and an Addressograph to print checks.
ADP's Sales Organization is Born
By 1952, Henry and Joe were two of Paterson's busiest entrepreneurs. One day a salesman from the Prudential Insurance Company, which also had offices in the hotel, dropped by. That salesman, who attempted to sell Henry and Joe insurance, was Frank Lautenberg.
Frank and the Taub brothers became good friends. They shared a kinship. All had grown up in Paterson. Over time, Frank learned about payroll processing from Henry and Joe.
The Taub Brothers and Frank Lautenberg.
My first selling job was to sell Henry on the fact that I could go out and sell his service.
- The Taub Brothers and Frank Lautenberg all grew up in Paterson, NJ
- Their dads worked in Paterson's famous silk mills
- In 1954, Frank left Prudential and became Automatic Payrolls' first full-time salesman
Selling the Idea of Outsourcing
In the early years, every sale actually required two sales: before anyone would buy the service, they first had to buy the concept. Bookkeepers and business owners found it hard to imagine how payroll could suddenly take up less of their time. Many were also reluctant to let an outside company have access to their payroll files.
Eventually, more and more businesses in northern New Jersey and New York City tried the service. A number became strong referral sources, and Automatic Payrolls continued to grow at an accelerated rate.
In the 1950s, payroll was delivered by van.
The concept of outsourcing was still foreign to most businesses back then. We had to stick it out, add clients as we could, and hopefully reach a point where our reputation would begin to work for us in the marketplace.
Before Henry Taub, the idea of outsourcing business services, a common practice in today's world, did not exist.
Taking the Business to the Next Level
By 1956, the company had grown to serve more than 200 clients, and needed a larger headquarters. They found one at a former supermarket building located on Route 46 in Clifton, the town next door to Paterson.
That year, Henry started a second business called Automatic Tabulating. It generated additional revenue from doing a wide range of calculations for area clients.
A former supermarket building provided a larger headquarters.
In addition to serving clients, Automatic Tabulating also handled computation of bowling scores for most of the local leagues.
Moving from Manual to Automated Processing
By 1957, the growing amount of processing required a new way to deliver services: automation. The plan was to convert all operations from manual bookkeeping machines to automated punch card accounting, a forerunner of the mainframe computer.
At the time, this type of conversion was incredibly forward thinking, cutting edge, and untested. The process was the first of many innovative technology decisions by the firm, and Automatic Payrolls came out of the experience with knowledge that would prepare it for its next challenge: conversion to mainframe computers.
Converting from manual bookkeeping to automated machines was incredibly forward thinking.
I really think we bet the company when we made the move from a manual to an automated environment.
A New Name to Reflect a New World of Computing
In 1958, Henry, Joe and Frank made a key decision with a far-reaching effect on the business. With the coming of the computer age, they decided to merge their two businesses, Automatic Payrolls and Automatic Tabulating, into a single company.
But that company needed a different name, one that would reflect how data was processed. No one at the time could have imagined the long-term impact of the new name that was selected to usher the business into the next decade.
A synonym for "computing," it would become the generic term that described the process by which data was collected, sorted and distributed by computerized businesses everywhere: Automatic Data Processing.
The new name required a new logo.
1960 - 1969
Going to the Next Level
ADP Goes Public
On September 12, 1961, ADP took the most important step in its early history: becoming a publicly held corporation. The initial public offering of 100,000 shares at $3 each was a sellout, and Henry Taub was elected ADP's first chief executive officer.
ADP became a publicly held corporation on September 12, 1961.
Going public gave us an excellent opportunity to raise cash and get some money into the company to buy new equipment and do other things.
AT THE END OF ITS
FIRST PUBLIC YEAR
Expanding Services, Expanding Geography
In the 1960s, ADP began acquiring other payroll services companies, and added payroll processing centers in Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Baltimore and the West Coast. The firm also expanded into a new market: back office accounting for Wall Street brokerages.
ADP processed 300 trades a night for Wall Street firms.
State of the Art Technology
In 1961 ADP leased its first computer, an IBM 1401, to handle payroll operations. Based on the success of the IBM 1401, ADP upgraded to an IBM 360, which became the backbone of ADP's computing power.
The IBM 1401, one of ADP's first computers.
A New Cutting Edge Facility
By the end of the 1960s, rapid expansion of the payroll business demanded more workspace. ADP completed construction of its first standalone building in Clifton, NJ, which became the main processing center for the New York area - and showcased the company's operations expertise and success.
In 1968, ADP completed construction on its first standalone building, in Clifton, NJ.
Today's Employer Services business was originally called ADP Commercial Services.
1970 - 1979
Growing Internationally and at home
Recruiting New Executive Talent
As ADP continued to grow, new leaders were required to manage the organization. Frank Lautenberg found and hired Josh Weston, an executive at the J. Crew Company who oversaw the use of IBM 360 computer to process thousands of orders a day. Josh was a perfect fit for ADP's growing focus on technology.
Frank Lautenberg and Josh Weston.
Josh Weston introduced the term "associates" for ADP employees, which is still used today.
Extending Services to a New Industry
In 1972, ADP enters another industry-specific market, offering computerized inventory and accounting services to auto dealers. This was the origin of the ADP Dealer Services business, which would grow to support over 26,000 dealerships in over 100 countries by 2014.
In 1972, ADP began offering computerized inventory and accounting services to auto dealers.
The opportunity was clearly there. It could grow into something big, it offered recurring revenue, and we had the chance to be number one in the industry if we deserved it.
Growing an International Practice
In 1974, ADP extended its geographical reach across the Atlantic, when it acquired a small payroll service bureau in The Netherlands.
In 1974, ADP acquired a payroll service in The Netherlands.
It was time for us to take our service to all markets in which we thought we could succeed.
In 1974, Henry Taub stepped down as CEO to pursue his philanthropic interests. He remained the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
A New Logo to Signal Success
In 1975, Frank Lautenberg commissioned a new logo for the company, one that projected a confident and more modern image. That same logo today marks ADP's presence in markets around the world.
The new ADP logo projected a confident and more modern image.
ADP Meets Payroll Tax Filing
In 1977, when ADP acquired the payroll base of United California Bank (UCB), the deal carried a unique requirement. For ADP to close the deal, it had to take over an existing "payroll tax filing service" as part of the acquisition. The successful tax filing service used by virtually all payroll clients today had begun.
Nobody at ADP even knew what a tax filing service was. We figured we'd put it into a cocoon and that would be that. But somewhere along the line we figured out that this small tax service had possibilities.
A New Business Unit Focused on Claims
In the final week of 1979, ADP acquired an automated claims estimating service owned by Itel Corporation that showed promise. It would become ADP's fourth core business unit, Claims Services.
ADP signed papers for the new business at 8:30 in the evening on December 31st, 1979.
1980 - 1989
CEO to U.S. Senator
In 1982, CEO Frank Lautenberg decided to run for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey. When he won, beginning a long and successful political career that lasted until 2013, Josh Weston succeeded him as ADP's third CEO.
Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Senator from NJ.
Frank Lautenberg was the last serving veteran of World War II in the United States Senate.
More Space for A Growing Organization
As the company grew and more associates joined, space became a challenge. In 1983, ADP moved its headquarters from its landmark 405 Route 3 building in Clifton to Roseland in suburban Essex County, New Jersey.
The ribbon cutting ceremony in Roseland, NJ.
In 1983, Frank Lautenberg attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new headquarters as a visitor, not an employee.
Putting the PC to Work...For ADP
The arrival of powerful desktop computers placed processing power in the hands of every business. Instead of seeing this as a threat, ADP saw an opportunity to use these computers as a platform for its payroll software.
ADP saw an opportunity to use computers as a platform for its payroll software.
We concluded that PCs were going to be in a lot of companies. So our aim was to become a partner with their PCs, instead of an enemy of their PCs. And from that starting point, all of our businesses from payroll to claims began to develop ways we could deliver our products and services using the clients' PCs.
Breaking the Billion Dollar Mark
ADP continued its tremendous financial performance. By 1981, ADP's total annual revenues had soared to more than $500 million, then doubled just four years later, when it surpassed the $1 billion mark.
Inventing a New Business
In 1989, ADP began to build a business focused on efficiently providing shareholder communications to investors. Called Investor Communications Services, it grew rapidly, and delivered communications including proxy ballots and annual reports to the majority of investors in the United States.
The 40th Anniversary cake.
Within 10 years ADP handled 90% of the communications for street-name securities in
1990 - 1999
A Thriving Business
After 40 years in business, ADP began the 1990s with more than 200,000 clients, nearly 20,000 associates, and annual revenue of $2 billion. In addition to payroll services, ADP was the leading provider of processing services to the retail auto and truck industry, and processed claims for most major casualty insurance companies.
- The company was now processing paychecks for one out of ten U.S. workers.
- ADP was handling fifteen percent of the stock equity transactions in the North American market.
The Rise of Outsourcing
The outsourcing trend ADP began in the 1950s gained widespread acceptance in the early '90s. At the top of the list of outsourced functions were items such as payroll, human resource administration, and transaction processing services-which played to ADP's strengths.
ADP continued to gain from the outsourcing trend not simply because we were here, but because we're here with services that offer incremental value.
Growth Through Global Acquisitions
1995, ADP acquired the largest payroll and human resource services company in Europe - GSI, headquartered in Paris. The acquisition proved that ADP could succeed internationally, and led to the company becoming a powerful player in the global market.
Art Weinbach, CEO, 1996-2006
I think it's one of the most strategic acquisitions we've made, because it made us the biggest player in Europe. It also helped prove that we can take the ADP model - how our businesses make money - to Europe and other geographies in the future.
First Cloud Service
Before Software-as-a-Service or "cloud" had taken hold in business language, ADP introduced EasyPayNet, a service that allowed companies to upload payroll information to ADP over the Internet and access it from any computer.
Leveraging the Power of the Internet
As ADP increased its global focus, technology and early adoption of the Internet helped the company serve clients virtually anywhere in the world.
ADP's first web site launched in 1998.
In 1998, ADP.com launched, and provided clients and prospects with access to ADP's services and expertise online.
Y2K Ready Ahead of the Industry
As the millennium approached, and the Y2K computer glitch threatened, ADP was once again ahead of the curve. In 1998, ADP became the first company in its industry to successfully test its payroll process, end-to-end, with real clients and financial institutions in a Y2K environment.
ADP Enters the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Industry
In the late 1990s, ADP pursued a new business opportunity with small businesses, the Professional Employer Organization (PEO). A PEO provides an outsourcing solution that delivers human resource expertise and superior benefits packages, which most smaller businesses normally could not obtain by themselves.
Celebrating 50 Years of Success Serving Clients
In 1999, ADP completed its 50th year in business in record-breaking style, with 37,000 associates, 450,000 clients around the globe, and annual revenues in excess of $5 billion dollars.
In 1999, ADP celebrated its 50th year in business.
As a company, we've had a knack of making a friend out of change, turning its uncertainty into opportunity. That's a relationship I hope we're able to renew for a very long time to come.
2000 - 2014
International Payroll and HR
In 2000, ADP became one of the first providers of multi-country payroll and HR on a single platform.
The ADP National Employment Report is Born
ADP launched the ADP National Employment Report, which provided a monthly snapshot of the current U.S. employment situation based on actual payroll data. It remains a key economic indicator for the United States economy.
The ADP National Employment Report
RUN Payroll Goes Mobile
To meet the needs of a more mobile workforce, ADP introduced its RUN powered ADP mobile app, to provide access to its small business payroll platform from mobile devices.
ADP's introduced its RUN powered ADP mobile app in 2009.
ADP Named in 100 Best Companies
for Working Mothers
In 2010, Working Mother® magazine recognized ADP as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.
ADP, one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother® magazine.
ADP Makes Social Impact
In 2011, ADP passed 10,000 followers on Twitter. By 2014, ADP had over 159,000 followers on LinkedIn.
ADP's twitter page.
Leading the World in Innovation
In 2012, Forbes named ADP one of the world's most innovative companies.
Forbes named ADP one of the world's most innovative companies.
ADP Launches the ADP Research Institute
The ADP Research Institute provides insights to leaders in both the private and public sectors on current and emerging issues in human capital management (HCM), employment and workforce trends. It also houses the ADP National Employment Report, ADP Small Business Report, and ADP National Franchise Report.
ADP launched the ADP Research Institute on ADP.com.
No other company can match the breadth and depth of our aggregate data and analytics. ADP Research Institute studies and insights are very valuable to a business looking for help optimizing the most important investments they make: their investment in people.
Ph.D, Director of ADP Research Institute
World's Most Admired Company
In 2013, ADP ranked the top company in Financial Data Services in FORTUNE® magazine's The World's Most Admired Companies.
ADP named one of The World's Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.
Innovating for the New World of Work
ADP announced its second Innovation Lab dedicated to technology development, which is located in New York City's "Silicon Alley." At the Innovation Lab, data scientists, anthropologists, economists and HR specialists work on search tools, mobile, social media, user experience and analytics to explore and define the future of the workplace.
ADP's Innovation Lab is dedicated to technology development.
Our goal is to have highly specialized and creative teams focused on quickly incubating and delivering capabilities that will dramatically increase the value of our HCM platforms for clients.
CIO, Corporate Vice President of Product Development
- ADP spent $600 million on Research & Development.
- ADP Mobile Solutions App became one of the most popular business apps in the Apple App Store.
Continuing to Grow, Fueled by Insight, innovation, and a Commitment to Client Service
In 2014, ADP celebrated 65 years in business, served 620,000 customers in 125 countries, and counted 15 years of having cloud-based software.