MEETING OUR CUSTOMERS' CHANGING NEEDS and demands for the 21st century was the focus of our recent sales meeting. Most of the discussions centered around GBC's programs and sales plans which will adapt our operations to meet these challenges.
The meeting was held June 13th through June 16th at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Suffern, NY. There were fifty attendees, consisting of manufacturers' representatives, regional sales managers, and our sales management group. The event was hosted by Alistair Crannis, General Manager, OEM Division, and Robert Stowell, General Manager, Distributor Division.
David L. Gussack, President, kicked off the meeting with a corporate overview, commenting on the recent progress and events that have taken place at GBC. Mr. Gussack pointed out that in only eighteen months, GBC was transformed into a publicly held company, was certified QS- 9000/ISO-9001, and consolidated operations into one efficient facility in the U.S. He continued his overview with a summary of the significant growth in our joint venture activity.
Bill Kurtz, Vice President of Operations, took the group on a video tour of our plant operations and concluded with a technical overview. Marc Yesowitz, Senior Project Engineer, discussed OEM pre-production and sampling requirements. Larry Ross, Manager of Quality Assurance, addressed our continuing efforts to improve customer satisfaction, and other accomplishments which led to GBC's QS-9000/ISO-9001 certification.
At this point the group split for the divisional segment of the meeting. The general managers of each division provided commentary on the changing trends in the marketplace and each mdivision's goals and objectives for 1998-99.
Both Divisions gave product review presentations, highlighting customer applications. For OEM, the presenters included Joanne Marsalisi, Sales Manager, Ball Bearings/HDD; Christopher Ferrari, Sales Manager, Railroad Products; and Ben Stein, Sales Manager, Tapered Roller Bearings, for their respective product lines.
For the Distributor Division, railroad, spherical roller, unground and commercial-grade ball bearings were reviewed by Bob Stowell, General Manager; Len Dellolio, National Sales Manager; and Stacey Freeman, Assistant Sales Manager.
Each sales representative provided a commentary about their successes, challenges and future plans for their territories. This proved to be a very meaningful exchange in getting to the core of specific customer requirements. Mark Niehaus, Account Manager for Automotive, discussed progress at Ford and General Motors, as well as developments with first and second tier automotive suppliers.
Congratulations went to Dennis and Ken Dobberpuhl of R.H. Dobberpuhl, and Jerry and Jeff Singer of Singer Industrial Sales for winning the 1997 Distributor Sales Growth Award. Both rep agencies were presented a plaque for their accomplishments.
The National Sales Meeting was a great success, with the possible exception of a rained-out golf outing. In the spirit of adaptability, a trip to NYC with a visit to the World Trade Center and dinner in "Little Italy" saved the day.