Proforma Prospers Through Empowerment
For Greg Muzzillo, building a network meant more sales would come.
When asked what it is that makes Cleveland-based Proforma such a success, Founder and co-CEO Greg Muzzillo was quick to deflect the attention from himself. Having created a company based on teamwork and camaraderie, Muzzillo isn't one to forget those who have worked to build Proforma into a major player within the print and promotional products industry. In fact, Muzzillo is quoted as saying, "Proforma's success story is not that of an individual, but rather the success of literally hundreds of great people who are the Proforma family."
Such a philosophy is credited for the more than $200 million in distributor sales Proforma reached this past year and the drive to obtain more than $250 million in sales next year. It is this same philosophy that Muzzillo believes will result in Proforma being one of the first distributors to reach $1 billion in annual sales.
While Proforma has been working as a team for at least 15 years, this was not the case 24 years ago when the company was originally conceived. "I started Proforma as a distributor just one year after I graduated from college," said Muzzillo. "However, the idea for Proforma's current growth—teaming with fellow owners of distributorships—wasn't conceived until the mid '80s."
Actually, Proforma was growing significantly during the early 1980s but was not as profitable as Muzzillo wished, despite the fact that it was recognized for its rapid growth by Inc. Magazine for three years running. Even still, Muzzillo longed for something more and knew that many other distributors felt the same.
"There were hundreds of distributors in northern Ohio and thousands of distributors in North America handling duplicated expenses. Each of these had its own marketing programs and billing, collection and ac-counting systems, as well as software, hardware and computer operators," said Muzzillo. "These concerns left distributors with little time to do what they do best—selling."