Wholesale & Distribution International - Fall 2017 - 46

MANUFACTURER'S REPRESENTATIVES

THE GSA ORGANIZATION

www.gsatech.com / Revenue: $125 million / Headquarters: Oakdale, N.Y. / Employees: 32 / Specialty: Electrical and electronic manufacturer's rep
/ John Beaver, CEO: "We have to continue to get bigger because our principals want to go to one organization and get what they need."

Bigger is
Better
GSA aims to be go-to rep
on the East Coast.
BY JANICE HOPPE-SPIERS

T

he GSA Organization stays

ahead as a large manufacturers'
representative by expanding its
territory and adding new business divisions. CEO John Beaver says the manufacturer's rep of tomorrow will be what
the industry calls a "mega rep" operating
in multiple industries at the same time.
"What differentiates us is the fact that
we are like Home Depot," Beaver says.
"Unfortunately, the representative industry isn't what it used to be and the
number of reps are declining rapidly.
The reps who are still here are larger and
that's what differentiates us - GSA operates multiple divisions in multiple states
to run like Home Depot."
The Oakdale, N.Y.-based company consists of six business units representing
manufacturers on the East Coast, from
Maine to Virginia. These units - GSA Optimum, GSA New England, GSA Parallax,
GSA Sales, GSA Blair and GSA Upstate
NY - each serve a different region.
"Each GSA business unit provides
professional and technical sales representation for world-class electronic and
electrical product manufacturers," the
company says. "We are committed to
the complete satisfaction of our principals, customers and distributors, as
well as the success of the overall organization. Our goal is to assist customers
with product design-in and procurement

46 www.wdimagazine.com Fall 2017

CEO John Beaver (left) and Senior Vice President Larry Flach are committed
to the satisfaction of GSA's principals, customers and distributors.

and to provide accurate, complete and
prompt communication of the relevant
issues between our principals, customers and distributors."
GSA's sales staff seeks business directly from end-users of the electro-mechanical, electronic and electrical components. The company recently began to
focus on lighting, adding it this year as a
new business segment. GSA sells products into the utility, aerospace, factory
automation, military, solar, food processing and machine-building markets.

NEW RELATIONSHIPS
Creating a new business unit requires
developing new relationships with manufacturers in a specific market, such as
lighting. "I'm one heck of a salesman,"

Beaver says in response to how he develops new partnerships.
To get its foot in the door, GSA starts
with a third- or fourth-tier manufacturer because, Beaver admits, they will be
the only ones to talk to the company at
first. "We learn from them and build relationships," he adds. "Over time, we grow
these third-tier manufacturers to second- or first-tier lines. You want to get a
rising star that no one has identified yet."
GSA's no. 1 line, in most territories, is
ABB. This was a new line in the U.S. when
Beaver first took it on in 1984.
GSA will focus first on developing its
lighting division and then the company
plans to get deeper into the semiconductor market. "The semi-conductor
market is going through tough times with


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