2021 Top Distributors: How Proforma's Tech Investments, Product Diversification Paid Off in 2020
As part of Print+Promo Marketing's 2021 Top Distributors list, we asked some of the top-ranked distributors about how they fared during the first year of the pandemic, their thoughts on the industry, their future plans and more. Here, we talked to Greg and Vera Muzzillo of Proforma, the No. 3 company on our 2021 Top Distributors list.
Proforma had a record-breaking 2020. The company grew its total sales to $538.5 million (good for No. 3 on our list) and added 38 affiliate members to its Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar clubs. It did so by investing early in PPE—at one point wiring almost $10 million for cargo planes to bring masks and other items to the U.S.—and by supporting members through its ProVision business management technology platform, which it launched in 2019.
“Our main goal is to continue to empower our owners and sales reps with the best technology and business success resources,” said Vera Muzzillo, Proforma’s CEO. “We are continuously building innovative programs that combine sales, marketing and sourcing, all set on the foundation of our award-winning technology. When we see them excel during challenging times such as this past year, it is beyond gratifying.”
Outlook: In a profile for last year’s Top Distributors issue, Proforma founder Greg Muzzillo highlighted Proforma’s diversified product offering as a big reason for the company’s early success during the pandemic. That includes print, promotional products, packaging and a variety of other products. It also includes, increasingly, e-commerce solutions. As of July 2021, Proforma had launched 4,259 company stores, up from 2,000 at the end of 2020, a good indicator of the rising demand for these services and how critical it is that distributors can provide them for customers. But for as invested as Proforma is in technology, Greg Muzzillo believes the fundamentals of business remain equally important for distributors looking to get back on track.
“If you do not know where or how to begin again after this past year, my advice to you is to just get in motion,” he said. “Pick up the phone, reach out to former customers and check in on them, or even make a list of prospects and start dialing for dollars. Business is coming back. The industry is rebounding quickly. Just get in motion and stay in motion. You got this.”
View the full 2021 Top Distributors list (including a list of the fastest-growing distributors and top distributors by product category) here, or click here for stats, trends and analysis from the list.