By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Chester Springs, Pa. — Azione Unlimited (AU), the education/buying group for custom retailers and integrators, has unveiled a five-committee structure to help guide the organization over the next three years.
The committees, which were developed at the group’s spring conference in April, are comprised of dealers and vendors and include the following:
*business analytics, chaired by David Daniels, Co-CEO of Xssentials, which will use analytics to compare and contrast business performance against the industry and dealer member standards, provide group data about key performance indicators, build metrics for dealers to have a competitive advantage and analyze financial and operating trends;
*operations, chaired by Eric Bodley, VP and general manager of Perfect Path, which will develop standards for members to create consistent proposals and bids that will result in competitive and profitable sales, manage projects according to best practices in project management, and provide product forecast predictions to AU vendor members based on the collective data from members;
*marketing, chaired by Will Pisula, general manager of Encore Audio Video, which will seek to increase dealers’ marketing efforts to drive sales of vendor product lines, allow vendors the ability to offer branded marketing asset that dealers can utilize vendors, and use the strength of the group as a way to negotiate cost-effective marketing opportunities;
*training, co-chaired by AU president Richard Glikes and David Chace, president of Training Allies, which will develop training resources to drive sales of vendor product lines to increase revenues for both dealer and vendor members, help dealers and vendors gain a better understanding of the most effective training techniques, and expand the means by which vendors can provide key educational resources to dealers efficiently and cost effectively; and
*purchasing/forecasting, chaired by DES CEO Kevin Lambidonis, which will explore ways to increase vendor efficiency through better forecasting of equipment fulfillment needs and increasing margins through specialized purchasing techniques.
The committees will meet monthly and report their ideas and suggestions at the group’s fall conference in New Orleans Sept. 10-12.
“The talent that abounds on both the dealer and vendor member teams is a resource that we are harnessing to create an organization with crystal clear direction and a pathway to extraordinary profitability for all parties,” Glikes said.
The three-year plan was spearheaded by George Walter of Digital Projection, who noted, “Dealers and vendors really wanted to see the Azione group set new standards for what could be achieved if both worked together as a team. To do this, we felt we had to have a business plan that would define executable goals with tangible benefits for both
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