Member Company Spotlight

SEMA Member News—September/October 2012

Member Company Spotlight

  From left: Rick Rollins of the SEMA Board of Directors joins Meyer Distributing’s Nick Gramelspacher, Jason Braun, Jeff Braun, Matt Schaick and Cody Ziegler as they accept the 2010 SEMA WD of the Year award. 
Meyer Distributing
560 E. 25th St., Jasper, IN 47546

Number of Years in Business: 75
Locations: 30+
Employees: 400+
Company Descriptions and History: 100% strictly wholesale warehouse distributor (WD). Founded in 1937 as Meyer Body building truck bodies and later distributing truck parts and equipment; became Meyer Distributing in 1983.
What is your projection for business in 2012? Up nicely between 35% and 40%.
What factors do you think will help you achieve your goals? Large investments in technology, website improvements, inventory and additional locations.
Why should companies join TORA? The new training module that the TORA is launching will allow WD and jobber salespeople to be properly trained on participating manufacturers’ product lines via web rather than waiting for a factory rep or salesperson to come in and do the training. It’s fast and cost effective.
What advice do you have for people who want to get into the truck accessory business? Think and plan out your business thoroughly before jumping in. If it’s an online business, you’ll need a major marketing plan that includes significant dollars for Google AdWords, etc. A brick-and-mortar install shop also requires a lot of advertising and a well-thought-out showroom with inventory and qualified technicians.

TORA Elects Two New Faces to Select Committee

Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) - SEMA CouncilTORA members voted two new faces onto the Select Committee: Kathryn Reinhardt is the marketing manager at Go Rhino! Products/Big Country Truck Accessories, and Todd Hoffman is the vice president for sales and marketing at A.R.E. Accessories. SEMA Member News recently asked both of them what motivated them to volunteer in TORA.

SEMA Member News: What is your history in the automotive industry and in TORA?

Kathryn Reinhardt: I have been working in the industry for 12 years and have gained a lot of experience and knowledge by working with some great manufacturers, media outlets and restylers. This is my first year on the TORA Select Committee, and I am eager to network and learn more about the industry.

Todd Hoffman: I’ve been in the industry for 17 years, all of them with A.R.E. I have participated in several SEMA and TORA-related trade shows, charity events and educational conferences. Our company has shared technical support information with the TORA committee members.

SMN: Why do you feel it’s important to serve on the TORA Select Committee?

KR: I see a lot of potential with networking capabilities, sharing product information and gaining knowledge of other manufacturer’s business practices. Having this core group of Select Committee members allows a variety of ideas to flourish for other members to gain the information needed to do business better.

TH: I look forward to the interaction with my peers and industry veterans to hear their perspectives on the light-truck accessory industry.

SMN: What do you see the TORA council doing well?

KR: There are so many TORA event offerings for manufacturers to partake in, and some are even free. The TORA offers many ways to get product out in front of buyers and end users. I look forward to participating in events such as the SEMA Pinewood Derby and the TORA New Products booth at the show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

TH: Pulling light-truck accessory information together in a common place with members that enjoy what we do. The TORA has always been a close-knit group.

SMN: What areas do you think TORA can improve?

KR: I would like to see more communication to the members, whether through e-mail or even through the dashboard. We need to share information on what’s working and what’s not working in our industry.

TH: It’s always a challenge to share pertinent industry information or knowledge effectively to your members and peers in a way that sticks.

SMN: How do you plan to contribute?

KR: I love helping others. I hope to give a manufacturer’s point of view on needs we have from the TORA and how we can grow and
be successful.

TH: I look forward to good, open interaction with the committee. It will be interesting to hear from peers how they see social media tools coming into play with the future of the light-truck accessory industry.