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Planning for Change...
What Got You Here Won't Get You There

Bob Smith president/CEO, IMARK Group
Steve Ruane vice president, Marketing
Jerry Knight president, IMARK Electrical
Matt Roos executive vice president

IMARK Group convened the first meeting of our Member Growth Advisory Task Force on Oct. 13-14, 2017.

The task force members (from small, medium and large IMARK member companies) have committed to working with us over the next three years to better harness the power of IMARK Group to help support IMARK members dealing with unprecedented challenges and opportunities.

All of the task force members have a keen appreciation of the many strengths of "independent" electrical distributors in general and IMARK members in particular. These strengths are too numerous to mention here.

However, like most successful executives, the task force members focused more time contemplating some of the weaknesses that may prevent IMARK members from reaching their full business potential. The weaknesses they outlined include:

  • Many electrical distributors are passive “actors”—they are tactical, not strategic and lack boldness to change/innovate.
  • Many companies do not do a good job of articulating their value to customers and prospects.
  • Poor-quality data management is an issue for many companies.
  • With the labor force changing rapidly, companies must create personal development paths for quality employees to help them see a bright future.

The task force members identified four major areas where IMARK Group can apply our power:

  1. Many IMARK members consider themselves to be poor planners. In these changing times, it is difficult to imagine a successful company that does not have a business plan with a 2-3-year time horizon. IMARK Group will develop interactive planning templates to help IMARK members focus and build upon strengths and capabilities unique to wholesale electrical distributors.
  2. IMARK Group will create a roadmap (with structured tiers of accomplishment—think IMARK "Platinum" program) for members to use to develop and offer customer service tools and resources via e-commerce that have value to customers—today and tomorrow.
  3. To assess current member workforces and anticipate how the nature of those workforces will likely change in the next 3-5 years, IMARK Group will develop an IMARK Workforce 2022 Survey.
  4. Lighting and controls make up a significant portion of member sales. With the emergence of solid-state lighting, controls and the Internet of Things, this market is also subject to the most rapid and drastic change. IMARK Group and our supplier partners will determine the best ways to help members to respond to new lighting challenges and opportunities.

None of us can predict the future. However, IMARK Group believes that by addressing challenges and opportunities as part of a common framework...we increase our chance to be successful.


IMARK Group would like to thank the following member executives for sharing their time and expertise in support of our membership.

IMARK Group Inc.
Member Growth Advisory Task Force

Tye Atwood
All Industrial Electric Supply
Burlingame, California

Matthew Eberhart
The Hite Company
Altoona, Pennsylvania

Lisa Fox
J.H. Larson Company
Plymouth, Minnesota

Rick Freebery
United Electric Supply Co. Inc.
New Castle, Delaware

Ken Gallagher
Paramont-EO Inc.
Woodridge, Illinois

John Gearman
Dakota Supply Group
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sheila Hernandez
Summit Electric Supply
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rock Kuchenmeister
K/E Electric Supply Corp.
Mount Clemens, Michigan

Craig LaRue
Alameda Electrical Distributors Inc.
Hayward, California

Gregory Smith
Granite City Electric Supply
Quincy, Massachusetts

Bill Stone
Mayer Electric Supply
Birmingham, Alabama

Alice Vontalge
Crescent Electric Supply Company
East Dubuque, Illinois

Todd Wade
Republic Companies
Davenport, Illinois