At the recent ProSource 2019 Summit in Nashville, I had the opportunity to sit down with ProSource CEO and President, Dave Workman and VP of Business Development, Andy Orozco.
Maureen Jenson: This year’s Summit “Better Together” theme has really been reflected in ProSource’s ongoing initiatives. In 2018 you had earmarked three key initiatives: Lighting and Shading, an RmR service-oriented business model (recurring monthly revenue), and member engagement. What’s happening with those initiatives?
Dave Workman: We have made great strides in the last year. The recently appointed 12-member strong Lighting and Shading Committee have worked very hard to make dealers aware of and to get them trained in lighting. They need to become ALA certified (American Lighting Association), that is the end goal, for our members to differentiate their businesses.
Andy Orozco: The Lighting and Shading Committee has been imperative in bringing in new ProSource vendor members: American Lighting, American Lighting Association, DMF Lighting and WAC Lighting. Our District Managers, Samantha Summerville and Nicole Riddle, are ‘Category Champions’ and are becoming certified themselves, so they can assist the dealers better in their lighting objectives. They can help push forward this major initiative in the right direction.
DW: For RmR, the members that have gotten on board with the recurring revenue model and are working closely with OneVision Resource and Parasol have had very good experiences and every ProSource member will eventually have to transform themselves to these technology service models to do great business going forward.
AO: In the area of member engagement, we have been super proactive and this past year we have had a record level of Town Hall dinners and expanded our Town Hall dinner commitment to the Tech Summits. The District Managers have been given bigger budgets to really get out into the field to work with the members and vendor representatives.
Our major market Town Hall dinners had record attendance with over 250 attendees across 15 dinners. The secondary market Town Hall dinners are scheduled within 11 Tech Summits. Our Operations Best Practice Conference had 78 total attendees with over 60 percent Power Members attending and 100 percent of attendees saying they will attend the next event. We are really proud of these great results.
MJ: You gave a very informative State of the Business address at Summit. Tell our readers about some of the new ProSource initiatives you are already in the process of working on for 2019.
DW: The key initiatives for 2019 are really about maximizing ‘Better Together’. How to improve our members’ businesses, the introduction of a health care initiative, encouraging our members to take full advantage of our partnership with AVB Marketing (a full service marketing arm of BrandSource/ProSource). How to increase member-to-member interaction and maximize the opportunities with our existing vendor partners.
MJ: Tell me how AVB Marketing can work with ProSource members?
DW: AVB marketing is a not-for-profit and member-owned service provider specializing in websites for custom integrators and e-commerce specialty retailers. With marketing included for web development, video production, content marketing, social media and so much more, this is full service at an ultimate level. AVB Marketing provides rich and dynamic content for our members and can help elevate their businesses to a much higher profile level.
MJ: What about the affordable health care initiative you’ve been working on?
DW: We have been working with MAHCA. We aren’t quite there as we haven’t yet met 5,000 minimum participants to offer a single rate, but we will get there. Its basic design removes unnecessary overhead embedded into traditional plans. Yet it functions like a fully-insured plan. More details will be forthcoming as we move forward. This will save our members an enormous amount of money on health care for their employees. Subscribers today are saving about 22 percent under the plan and one company with 100 employees is saving closer to 30 percent.
MJ: The rest of 2019 is going to be really busy for ProSource, isn’t it?
DW: At the end of the day, people stay with ProSource because we offer them an opportunity to grow with us. We offer great resources, networking opportunities and business problem solving support and education. We have very little member churn. We are going to keep building on our successes from 2018, keep that momentum going, and push forward with all of our 2019 initiatives. It’s what we do.