The future is bright for this still growing dealer group, which fills a much needed gap for dealers looking to share best practices.
(Pictured above: A presentation at this year’s ProDealer Group meeting in New Orleans.)
It was our pleasure to present an industry overview along with observations on the six A3 MFP manufacturers that serve the dealer community at PRO Dealer Group’s meeting in New Orleans, March 12-13.
Earlier this year when Ray Derstine, the group’s president and owner of Altek Business Systems in Telford, PA, as well as a long-time subscriber to The Cannata Report, invited us to participate, we have to admit we were not that familiar with PRO Dealer Group. Now that we are, we could not be more pleased about adding the PRO Dealer Group meeting to the other independent dealer group meetings on our schedule.
PRO Dealer Group, a well-balanced group with dealers representing the whole gamut of imaging manufacturers, has been in existence for three years. Managed by BTA, it started with 12 dealers and today has 24 dealers with $164 million in revenues between them.
PRO Dealer Group’s recent New Orleans gathering was similar in format to other dealer group meetings and very well organized. In addition to our presentation and one by John Hey and Todd Johnson of Strategic Business Associates who provides the group with industry benchmarks for profitability, John McCoubrie, manager AMS Channel Print Services from HP discussed HP’s latest initiatives and Rich Sissen of Sissen & Associates addressed team building and recruiting. Our old friend Fred Carollo, vice president of originations, office products, Everbank was also at the meeting. Particularly enlightening were the discussions between attendees about best practices. Virtually all the independent dealer groups do not invite presenters to remain after they are done, but we were invited to stay even though what is discussed during that portion of the meeting is confidential.
We would like to leave you with a simple message that we have stated before. If you are not a member of an independent dealer group, please give this a great deal of consideration. If you have not found it possible to join one of the other groups apply to PRO Dealer. With only 24 members the likelihood you will not be able to join because a competitive dealer in your market is already a member is not that great. From first-hand knowledge, you will not be disappointed. Attending these meetings is always a learning experience for us. Listening to dealers express how they feel about the challenges and opportunities they face is of great value. The best business practices they share are an education by itself.
If you have any questions about PRO Dealer Group, contact Brent Hoskins, BTA executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to ask CJ or me about PRO Dealer Group please don’t hesitate to give either of us a shout at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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