2018 Top 50 Distributors: Smart Source LLC Leading Through Change
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. 6-ranked Smart Source LLC.
What was your company’s biggest accomplishment over the last year?
Thomas D’Agostino Jr.: We have made significant progress in re-energizing our sales force in nontraditional product areas. By providing support and education in these areas, our sales team has been able to embrace a new environment in which to increase its income.
What is your company’s top priority for 2019?
TDJ: A top priority for 2019 is expanding Smart Source’s resources with potential acquisitions. Our industry is in one of the great transition phases in its history. Smart Source has embraced the changes that are occurring around us and intends to extend our success to other companies that may become a part of the Smart Source family.
Why do you love the print and promotional products industry?
TDJ: I love the changing landscape. I embrace the opportunities that accompany change, which is a daily part of the print/promotional products industry. I think our collective best years are still ahead of us, and I intend on taking advantage of the many opportunities that will be presented by our ever-evolving industry.
What do you see as your greatest challenge as Smart Source’s leader both today and moving forward? How do you intend to overcome these obstacles?
TDJ: Recruiting energetic salespeople and teaming younger reps with reps approaching retirement [are my greatest challenges]. This provides excellent training for the younger rep, and also assures a continuation of the business relationship with the retiring rep’s accounts, as the secondary relationship is cultivated.
How would you describe your leadership style?
TDJ: I empower our leadership team to handle the day-to-day operation of the company. My job is to provide vision for our future, as well as guidance for our leadership team as needed.
With all the stress that the modern business world brings, how do you decompress from work?
TDJ: [I have an] incredibly active social life and enjoy golf, skiing, boating, tennis, etc.
Is there anything you would like to add to give our readers a better sense of your business approach and the industry at large?
TDJ: Our future is bright. Like everything else in life, what you commit to a purpose will directly determine what you derive.
For more in this top distributors profile series, click here to download a free PDF resource containing all six interviews.