17 People, 20 Million in Sales...Really??
Rod Brown may be the best salesperson ever. He proposed to his wife Barbara eight days after their first date. She walked into his distributorship as a rep for the Shaw Umbrella Company and after two business meetings they had their first date on a Thursday night. The following Friday, he proposed. They have been happily married for 25 years. "The best sale I ever made!" he recounts.
Rod is the CFO for MadeToOrder, a distributor company with a unique business structure based in Pleasanton, California. He is an amazing industry professional. I have quite a bit of respect for his business acumen and also for his willingness to assist others, myself included.
Recently, Rod invited me to attend MadeToOrder's 10th Anniversary Celebration that was held in conjunction with the Promotional Marketing Association of Northern California (PMANC) Spring Event in beautiful Monterey, California. This was a blessing for me, as I always love attending Regional Association events.
The first evening was to honor their 5-Star suppliers at the famous Restaurant Fandango. Throughout the evening, it was very clear that the relationship MadeToOrder has with its business partners is strong. MadeToOrder team members expressed their appreciation for their supplier partners. Suppliers were candid in their respect for how MadeToOrder handles their business affairs. Awards were given to several companies ranging from a small apparel decorating shop to large, well-known suppliers. Recognition was given to: Hit Promotional Products, Leed's, Gemline, SanMar, ETS Express, Cutter & Buck, Antigua, Twintech, Viola Embroidery, Big Apple and High Velocitee's.
In this short video, you can catch an inside look at the evening MadeToOrder honored their supplier partners. The next day the MadeToOrder Team attended the PMANC Spring Trade Show, which was a great Regional Association event.
Rod explains that MadeToOrder functions differently from a traditional distributor organization. It's built with a small number of savvy industry professionals who become partners similar to the way a law firm is structured. This professional practice concept allows interests to align. It is not a hierarchy. This uncommon structure has led to quite a bit of success for those involved. You will get a candid look at the MadeToOrder family in this video filmed at Restaurant 1833.