VMI Dealer Council Bi-Annual Conference
VMI hosted January’s conference at the Wigwam Resort in sunny Phoenix, Arizona January 14-16. With a packed agenda and ample social time, good discussions and great camaraderie were present throughout the conference. The VMI Insider is structured slightly different this time in our effort to share the spirit of the conference and the character of our council members. Please take a moment to watch the tributes paid to both Richard May (United Access) and Bob Lundin (IMED Mobility). Next, gain some insight into the overall conference through the Insider below.
Letter from Richard
Dear VMI Dealer Council,
It has been an honor to serve you as Chairman these past two years. I’m thoroughly in the corner of Len Norten, your new Chairman.
Product advancements have defined the value contribution of the Council the past several years and as Product Committee Chair, Len has multiple accomplishments to boast.
Evergreen Pacific Partners founder, Tim Bernardez, spoke to the council about their investment strategy in VMI. My limited experience is that private equity brings higher expectations for disciplined management processes that ultimately bring better returns. Tim expressed his desire to engage the distribution channel with innovative products and services to capture double digit growth. This is a far cry from private equity behavior in slower growth markets where it is essential to cut spending and squelch innovation to get the higher returns.
I was impressed with the consultant that VMI hired Bob Currie and what he had to share with the group, specifically “The Currie Model”, a financial model that could serve as the standard for industry best practice in key financial result areas—his experience with manufacturer/dealer relationships appears to be deep and authentic. The Loftin Equipment President provided further evidence of Currie’s credibility in my mind. Bob’s “best practices and proven methods” include:
- Management Engagement and Development: develop strong engaged leaders
- Leadership must decide on growth metrics for Revenue, Earnings and Shareholder Value: (The Currie Model demands that its clients prescribe to 15% growth in revenues, earnings and shareholder value annually)
- Strive to achieve Market Competency—defined as sales exceeding 150% of nearest competitor in the same market as your operation
- Sales Effectiveness: create a model for recruiting, hiring, onboarding and continuously improvement of your sales rep to an industry leading standard
With the support of Evergreen, wisdom of Bob Currie, and the adaptation of VMI and the dealers, we (Select Dealer Network) plan to collectively achieve double digit growth by driving revenue through sales effectiveness, earnings through the financial model and measuring management by their level of engagement.
To conclude, there were a host of other topics presented at the conference, some more exciting than others, but all relevant to the process of seeking alignment between VMI and Select Dealers.
Thank you all for your engagement in the Council Process!
Letter from Doug
Dear Select Dealers,
The highlight of this year’s conference for me was the tribute dinner in honor of Richard May and Bob Lundin. As the night’s festivities started to unfold it seemed that the roasts would carry the evening. But they were a far cry from the real ceremony where it became obvious to everyone in the conference room that the gravity of their impact on VMI and the industry was profound.
The History Channel recently paid a tribute to John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and JP Morgan in a show named “The Titans of Industry: The Men Who Built America”. When I had my opportunity to reflect on Richard and Bob and their contributions to the industry, I named them Titans of Mobility for their vision, passion and relentless drive. As an established industry with a successful business model that is attracting large investors, mainstream media and professional managers, all tell-tale signs an industry is on the map and approaching prime time, we have Richard and Bob largely to thank.
Yet what makes me most proud to be affiliated with Richard and Bob is their personal and business integrity. Both are family-men. Both are honest and hard-working, unwilling to cut corners. Both conduct themselves in a manner that is above reproach. And most importantly, both put the customer first. We can stand tall knowing that two titans are leading us.
After you take a minute to watch the video and reflect, please try and reach out and thank them for their many years of service on the Dealer Council.