2022 Top Distributors: Why Smart Source LLC is Eyeing More Acquisitions
As part of Print+Promo Marketing's 2022 Top Distributors list, we asked some of the top-ranked distributors about what their future plans look like, and trends they've kept their eyes on in the industry. Here, we talked to Smart Source LLC CEO Thomas D'Agostino Jr. — No. 14 on our 2022 list — about the company's acquisition strategy, and how it has contributed to the distributor's success in 2021.
Smart Source LLC has completed four acquisitions since January 2021. That’s played a major role in the company’s continued growth, helping Smart Source to $135.8 million in total sales last year and another ranking inside our top 15. Thomas D’Agostino Jr., CEO of Smart Source, says that the company’s broad sourcing network was also critical, allowing for greater pricing stability and product availability as supply chains buckled.
That shows up in Smart Source’s 2021 results. The company started primarily as a print distributor, expanding its product offering over the years to include categories like packaging and promo. But lately, its promo sales have surged. In 2021, promotional products and apparel accounted for a full 34% of the company’s revenue. If Smart Source can continue that growth while expanding through additional strategic acquisitions, there’s no telling how much higher it can climb.
Proactive Approach: “The days of waiting for reorders to magically appear, sending a PO to the previous supplier and sitting back to wait for billing to turn into commission are long gone,” says D’Agostino. “Today’s environment requires reps to be highly proactive in sourcing, product research and staying abreast of industry trends for those market segments served by our customers.”
Market Optimism: “We feel strongly that a market rebound is on the horizon that will be characterized by improved supply chain issues, increased inventories and relieved staffing shortages. Our main goal is to be in position with our customers to capitalize on the opportunity for substantial growth created by this easing. ... [The] markets seemed to have bottomed and are in the process of an initial rebound, slowly as it may be. This reaffirms the outlook for a better selling atmosphere between now and mid-2023.”
View the full 2022 Top Distributors list (including a list of the fastest-growing distributors and top distributors by product category) here, or click here for stats, trends and analysis from the list.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.