The 2012 Matco Tools M-Powered Tool Expo has been success for the company, their vendors, and for Matco Tool distributors. At opening ceremonies on Sunday evening, the VP of Marketing and Commerce, John Green, announced the company's accomplishments of the past year, which included increases in distributor purchases, completed business and recruiting of new distributors. Once again, for the fifth time in six years, Matco Tools has been named the Best Mobile Franchise in Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500.
Perhaps the most exciting news of the show is the announcement of the company's new president, Tim Gilmore, who will replace Tom Willis as he moves on to become company chairman.
Gilmore began his career with Matco Tools as a distributor in 1986. He has since progressed through many roles in various departments within the company, including sales, marketing and operations. In 2010, he left to assume the presidency of another Danaher division. Two years later he's back and was installed as president of Matco Tools this past January.
In an exclusive interview with Professional Distributor magazine, Gilmore joked that one distributor said he is "working my way down" in the industry. However it's obvious that his background as a distributor is one of the greatest strengths he brings to the position. Gilmore said that experience "gives me a different perspective … my time in the field and my time working (in every role) internally will provide me the experience I need to get the company to the next level."
Recognizing the fact that service is the key element in being a successful distributor, Gilmore said the service his distributors provide in the field "is really a function of the service we provide to them. We have good service, but it can always be better, so one of the initiatives I'll take on is improving our service to them."
He also talked about recruiting new distributors, something Gilmore has been involved in most of his career at Matco.
When asked if there's anything in particular he's noticed about successful recruits, Gilmore said although they're all different, there is one common thread. "They come from everywhere, every background. Our top dealer a few years ago was an ex-NYC cop. But they're all self-starters."
Gilmore stressed the importance of relationships and spoke of plans to build on the strength of internal relationships. "We always say that Matco is more of a family, and that really shows through at events like this. They know we don't just look at them as a number … It's a relationship business. Every distributor is the Matco brand, and their customers' perspective of them is based on the relationship they've formed."
Gilmore is obviously pleased to be back at Matco Tools, and there's no doubt he feels his connection to the distributors. "I was only gone for two years, but I've met many people who were joining their first training class just before I left. Seeing what they've accomplished in only two years makes me proud."