2018 Top 50 Distributors: InnerWorkings' Recently Appointed CEO On the Power of Partnerships
Each year, Print+Promo compiles the Top 50 distributors into one comprehensive list. Our top earners for 2018 have implemented traditional cornerstones of business success to keep their firms healthy, but, more importantly, they understand that even the fanciest digital inkjet press or e-commerce system can't replace the value of relationships. These distributorships have long abandoned the concept of "product peddler," instead opting for open communication styles grounded in the best interests of their customers. We asked executives from six of our top distributors to talk about their recent accomplishments, future goals and ways they clear their mind. Here is an excerpt from our discussion with No. 1-ranked InnerWorkings.
What was your company’s biggest accomplishment over the last year?
Rich Stoddart: We have attracted some amazing new talent to InnerWorkings. It’s so gratifying to see those people making an impact every day and bringing their full effort and energy to what we do.
What is your company’s top priority for 2019?
RS: We are very focused on accelerating our growth trajectory and, at the same time, being more disciplined operationally. Given our rapid growth, we’ve simply let the way we work get too complex—now we need to make it simpler and more consistent across the company.
It’s been about six months since you assumed the role of CEO at InnerWorkings. What gets you the most enthused about the print and promotional industry, and heading InnerWorkings?
RS: I believe that InnerWorkings’ full solution capabilities make us incredibly vital to our client base. Our value proposition is powerful—we drive cost efficiencies via a transparent approach to the marketing supply chain, while improving brand consistency and process. Marketers are dealing with massive fragmentation, and our execution solution has never been more important.
What do you see as your greatest challenge as InnerWorkings’ leader both today and moving forward? How do you intend to overcome these obstacles?
RS: Being the leader in our space requires that we be innovative and nimble, but, most importantly, embrace change. There is so much disruption in the marketing space today, and our focus is on creating the future, which means staying ahead of change in order to create new value for our clients.
How would you describe your leadership style?
RS: I’m a full-on servant leader. I truly believe I’m here to help our people succeed and make sure they have the resources, training and mentorship to grow and develop. InnerWorkings is only as good as the people who do such amazing work for our clients every day.
For more in this top distributors profile series, click here to download a free PDF resource containing all six interviews.