Strategies for the Jungle IMCO’s national sales meeting

Edition: May 2003 - Vol 11 Number 05
Article#: 1532
Author: Repertoire

IMCO held its annual national convention on the East Coast of Florida in April. The location this year was the Adam’s Mark Hotel & Resort located on the St. John’s River in downtown Jacksonville. With 104 exhibits and 91 percent of their members in attendance, a record turnout of 675 people, including over 100 sales people, was announced as Bill McLaughlin, IMCO’s president, kicked off the meeting.

Stepping onto the stage in a gorilla costume to keep in line with the meeting theme, Strategies for the Jungle, McLaughlin stated, “We should be very proud of the things we’ve been able to accomplish together over this past year. Through your faith and support, IMCO has grown to 140 member locations and 183 vendors, with a combined member sales volume of about $1.5 billion! Clearly we do not intend to rest on our past achievements. We must all constantly improve if we’re to continue to move ahead in this increasingly competitive global marketplace.”

According to McLaughlin, the past twelve months have been very busy for IMCO. “We’ve added 12 new vendors, 15 new members and 30 new private label items,” said McLaughlin. “In addition, the new private label packaging design is replacing the old ones on an ongoing basis. We’ve also initiated a member-to-member redistribution plan utilizing a number of IMCO dealers that have been selected for their specialization and size, which brings a lot of flexibility to the program, and still allows for member incentives and rebates.”

The Winner’s Circle

IMCO’s Winner’s Circle promotion completed its second full year in 2002 with results McLaughlin called phenomenal. “The Winner’s Circle promotion has turned IMCO members into a united selling machine,” said McLaughlin. “This year, 23 finalists are here – double the amount of the first year – out of the 300 sales reps that participated.” All of the finalists were present at the meeting and could be identified by their special shirts.

The program focused on 60-day exclusive deals laced with extra incentives. The grand prize – a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport – was awarded in a special ceremony to Frank Sofia of Medco Supply in Tonawanda, N.Y., who, by the process of elimination and a little bit of luck, walked away with the set of keys. Other prizes included a $5,000 travel voucher awarded to Cissy Daniel of MedFirst Healthcare Supply in Clermont, Fla., and a $3,000 entertainment center awarded to Dee Dee Woods of Ocean Medical Supply in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

“Independent distributors still excel in sales,” stated McLaughlin. “We will continue to build upon the success of the Winner’s Circle Promotion. It gives every member the winning edge including exclusive promotions with big prizes, vendor sales support and hard-hitting marketing tools. It’s important to know that when we all march together in the same time-frame with the same products, it makes a national impact – as well as an impact for both your company’s bottom line and the rep’s commission.”

Electronic Initiatives

IMCO released an updated version of its EDGE database that will be Web-enabled. The EDGE, which is also available in a CD-ROM format, will go live on the Web in the second quarter of 2003. The new “WEDGE” provides not only online access to product pricing and vendor information, it is also designed to function as an Intranet for the members. The Intranet capabilities include contact and customer manager, and a feature for providing price quotes to customers. A prototype of a new e-commerce platform was also introduced, with shopping cart abilities, reports and other functions that will ease the transition of engaging in electronic transactions for IMCO members.

IMCO also released its new AD-Vantage program, which will allow members to create their own customized literature and sales sheets by simply logging on to the Web and choosing from over 500 ads.

The Trade Show

The exhibit floor reflected the theme of Strategies for the Jungle, with many of the vendors dressed in safari-type attire. Volume sold off the trade show floor was estimated to be in excess of $2.5 million as vendors offered special incentives to IMCO members. Dukal Corporation won the best booth award, which was voted on by the attendees.

IMCO's Member Incentive Program paid out a record $750,000 during the convention. "Our Member Incentive Program applies to all members," said McLaughlin. "The majority of our members earn their full dues. Next year we hope to pay out $1 million in a plan we belive is truly profit sharing . In other words, the best is yet to come!"

IMCO Winners

Winner's Circle Grand Prize Jeep Wrangler Sport:

Frank Sofia of Medco Supply in Tonawanda, N.Y.

Winner's Circle Adventure Travel Voucher:

Cissy Daniel of MedFirst Healthcare Supply in Clermont, Fla.

Winner's Circle Entertainment Center:

DeeDee Woods of Ocean Medical Supply in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

Best Booth Decoration (voted by members):

Dukal Corporation

Grand Prize of $3,000 Travel Gift Certificate (one each)

Vendor - Brian Levering from Medical Action

Member - Don Rauch of Midland Medical (Lincoln, Neb.)