Top 50 Distributors 2017 Interviews: No. 3 – American Solutions for Business
Every year, Print+Promo releases its 2017 Top 50 Distributors list. To give you some insight into what it takes to make it to the top, we spoke to Justin Zavadil, president of American Solutions for Business, No. 3 on the list.
What was your company’s biggest accomplishment over the last year?
Justin Zavadil: Our biggest accomplishment this year was double-digit sales growth over the prior year’s record growth. We continue to add the tools and resources necessary to attract new sales associates and customers year over year. We are committed to reinvesting our profits into technology and vertical markets that allow our sales associates to go to market stronger than ever before.
What is your company’s top priority for 2018?
JZ: Our top priority is always top-line sales growth. We have a number of initiatives to hit that growth, but that is where the rubber meets the road.
What is the biggest challenge facing distributors today, and how can we work toward a solution?
JZ: Our biggest challenge is battling against commoditization. We started as a print company and had to adjust our sales strategy to fight against print becoming a commodity. We needed to become the best extension of our customers’ marketing and supply-chain teams without being on the payroll. We had to be problem solvers while still providing the technology and tools it takes to win and keep the business. The same is happening in the promotional products world. We can still compete with great salespeople and customer service, but the online retailers continue to erode the profit margins. The way we have chosen to fight this battle is to continue to find other markets and product categories for our people to sell. We have the best sales force in the industry and that is an amazing strength. They can sell anything; we just need to find the best path to accessible, profitable options.
How do you make tough choices in your organization?
JZ: I work with the strongest leadership team in the industry. We make decisions as a team along with a heavy amount of input from the sales force. We consider all the information and make the best decisions that will drive us toward growth.
What is the best book you’ve read recently?
JZ: I seem to be always at work, so, when I read, I like to unplug. I read a lot of nonfiction, and the most recent book I read was “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James. James is a Jamaican author who now lives in Minnesota, and is pretty incredible
To hear what other leading distributors had to say, check out our 2017 Top 50 Distributors list—complete with bonus information like an in-depth analysis and top 10 rankings for four leading product categories.