ISN, 35, still going strong

Integrated Supply Network, a tool and equipment wholesale distribution company based in Lakeland, Fla., has much to highlight at this year's Tool Dealer Expo, which it will host in Orlando June 29-30. In addition to the annual show's growth, ISN has recently streamlined its distribution, revamped office space in its Lakeland headquarters and added a new president.

ISN was founded in 1972, and has enjoyed 35 years of private ownership. According to the company's website, www.isnweb.com, they want "to provide opportunities for the people both inside ISN, and the people we do business with, to reach their potential, succeed and win."

In 2007, ISN expanded distribution centers in Stone Mountain, Ga., and Baltimore (other distribution centers include Fort Wayne, Ind., Dallas and Fresno, Calif.), as well as call centers in Lakeland and Sacramento.

Serving the Tool Dealers
ISN continues to improve its marketing through the web (www.toolweb.com) and print, and sees the best marketing coming from its publications, including ToolWeb, Xpress, a master catalog and several specialty fliers.

"The future at ISN revolves around customer involvement and feedback on growth," said Scott Pilkenton, vice president of marketing. "The goal is not only to sell more, but also to expand services for customers through a whole-team focus."

The company presents itself to potential customers as "T&E specialists with the deepest and broadest inventory in the market," as well as having "the industry's highest service levels and marketplace-leading pricing."

ISN concentrates much of its efforts on marketing for its customers, from the functionality of www.toolweb.com, to its team of full-time graphics personnel. Toolweb.com includes price lists, new product info, order tracking and more. One of its best features may be the opportunity for the users to build a sales flier themselves.

News from the Top
At the beginning of May, ISN announced the appointment of Paul Dyer as its president. Dyer had been with ISN for the previous nine years as a consultant developing internal programs and policies.

"We are pleased and excited that Paul has joined the ISN team," said Bruce Weber, ISN's CEO. "We are confident that Paul's depth of experience and charismatic leadership will be instrumental in helping us expand into new markets, build a dominant brand presence, and continue to be a world-class supplier to the tool and equipment industry."

"Over the last nine years I've had the great opportunity to work with ISN as a consultant," Dyer said. "I was a part of the team that identified our three primary values related to building outstanding people practices, serving our customers with distinction, and delivering operational excellence in all that we do."

Professional Distributor asked Dyer about his new role.

Q. What are your immediate goals/hopes for ISN this year?
A. This year we will focus on getting even better at several of the things that we're already very good at doing. We have several initiatives aimed at helping us understand our customers' needs at very deep levels. Customer intimacy has always been an important part of ISN's success, and we intend to take it to even higher levels this year. Also, we are committed to fulfilling our mission to provide opportunities for the people both inside ISN, and the people we do business with, to reach their potential, succeed and win. We are currently working with our employees, vendors and customers to make sure that this becomes more and more of a reality.

Q. What is your long-range plan for ISN?
A. My long-range plan for ISN is to become a beacon of operational excellence, an organization that not only focuses on creating a winning business strategy, but one that executes that strategy with distinction. We will continue to grow at a rapid pace, but we will not forget our past. Hiring and developing extraordinary people, making customer intimacy the center of our efforts, and delivering excellence in all that we do - these are the three pillars of our future success. We are applying the lessons we're learning from our LEAN methodology and investing in our information technology. We will continue to focus on our core business, but we will explore several significant emerging opportunities to leverage ISN's core competencies in new and exciting ways.

Q. How has your role at ISN changed from your time as a consultant?
A. The relationships I've built over the last decade have laid a foundation for my work as ISN's president. ISN is filled with great people dedicated to working together in a highly collaborative manner. ... Frankly, it's even more fulfilling to be a part of the decision-making team on a daily basis than facilitating decisions as a consultant.

Q. What is your No. 1 goal for ISN?
A. Making sure that we win the "Talent War." The team with the best talent wins. We're looking for and developing intelligent people with energy, drive and passion for both life and the business. We're building a world-class talent architecture to identify, select, develop and reward the talent necessary to execute our vision.

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