Stampede hosted several hundred of its manufacturer partners at its two-day U.S. Vendor Summit in Buffalo, N.Y., this week, embarking upon what the A/V distributor called “a new era of one-stop, one-call global distribution that will thrive upstream, away from mainstream commoditized products.”
Stampede was acquired by DCC Technology in July, and this news was very much at the forefront of the event, which included presentations, work sessions, manufacturer exhibits, 1:1 sales meetings, and team-building events.
“Our collective ability to imagine, design and manufacture complex products and systems solutions that deliver amazing customer experiences across all of the vertical markets we serve is our single biggest advantage as an industry,” Stampede president/CEO Kevin Kelly said. “And now, supported by the capital, resources and commitment of DCC, Stampede is ready to become your one-stop, one-call global gateway to all of the unfolding opportunities being created by this new era of commercial experiential A/V.”
Gerry O’Keefe, managing director of the distribution arm of DCC, said DCC acquired Stampede because it had established the initial framework for a global distribution solution. “On its own and through its acquisition of Just Lamps, Stampede went further than any other company in pro A/V distribution,” he said. “With our investment of capital and additional resources, Stampede can now scale globally. The combination of Stampede and Exertis distribution is going to create unprecedented new business opportunities for our vendors, resellers and end-user customers.”
O’Keefe took time to note to attendees that DCC does not approach acquisitions “as an opportunity to acquire and strip out assets. Rather, we view acquisitions as building blocks to a global solution that is bigger and better than the one we had in place before the acquisition.”
He added: “We really do believe in the power of our people and their ambitions. Our goal is to create a better global pro A/V business through Stampede, one that adds value to our vendors and resellers. We are not interested in chasing profitless commodity business opportunities.”
Building upon the current market success of Stampede is going to be a lot easier now that the traditional capital constraints Stampede faced are eliminated, according to the distributor. “As an independent company, Stampede had record-setting sales years in 18 of its 20 years,” Kelly said. “In 2017, our overall sales grew by 22 percent. Constrained by capital, we literally could not leverage all of the opportunities presented to us and we still grew by 22 percent. Now this will no longer be the case.”
Kelly told manufacturers to expect more opportunities to expand business globally; additional sales offices and local and regional marketing programs that cover more of the marketplace; and more robust product portfolios and inventories in the field in more warehouse locations.
He added: “And, yes, more acquisitions,” he promised. “We are actively looking to acquire trade distributors who share our values,” he said. “Consolidation will continue to be a dominant trend in our industry. Let your other trade distributors know that Stampede is open to additional acquisitions that will further enable us to better serve our customers.”
Kelly also took time to emphasize that Stampede was still very much Stampede. “We built this company together, one customer at a time, one relationship at a time, one deal at a time. It’s been a very personal journey every step of the way. At times like this, there may be a concern that some of these values will change.”
“Clearly things have changed, and in ways that will directly benefit your business. We are part of a much bigger enterprise,” he said. “My commitment to you, however, is to continue to work with you the same way we always have. You are always one phone call away from a solution! At the end of the day, we are still Stampeders!”