Independent dealers – Unite!
A new association seeks to unite independent tool dealers and increase purchasing power and camaraderie for the nation's non-branded distributors.
"IMTDA started as an off-shoot of IMTD, a Yahoo! group that I started … in October of 2005," said Lynn Stokes, founder of the Independent Mobile Tool Distributor Association.
Stokes said after founding the Yahoo! chat group, he came up with the idea for the association to "pull all the independent tool distributors together in one organization … and the response was fantastic. From there we started brainstroming via e-mail and Sunny from Pro Tools in Oahu had this idea of T-shirts for the ISN Expo."
At the June ISN tool expo in Florida, members wore shirts badged for the IMTDA and received many inquiries from interested mobile tool dealers - as well as tool vendors and manufacturers.
Stokes' vision is for the IMTDA to be a source of interaction among the independent dealers in which to discuss everything from skips and repos to extra help finding an elusive tool for a good customer.
"I also created this so independents no longer have to feel they are alone, adrift … without any support. As a flag truck, you have the benefit of that corporation and other distributors [for] support. … I want IMTDA to be that support group."
Stokes said other independent dealers he's talked with have keyed in on a few items necessary to make IMTDA a success: Buying power, financing for techs and insurance breaks, both business and health.
"We already have Chicago Pneumatic as a major sponsor as well as S-K Tools," Stokes said. "I spent more time at the ISN expo talking to vendors about IMTDA than buying tools."
Stokes said the association covers all 50 states, and welcomes any distributors interested in joining.
"Every day I get phone calls, email from vendors and distributors wanting more information about us," Stokes said. "It is very, very exciting!"
For more information, go to www.imtda.com.