Impact Industrial Supplies, Inc., an industrial supplier, merchant wholesaler, and supply chain management company, celebrated its 22nd anniversary in 2013 with a positive outlook and a strong history.
Impact has 16 employees and closed 2012 with sales of $6.4 million. Owner John Diaz says it is imperative to develop the people and management team to help execute the growth that makes Impact a long-term viable business.
Impact Industrial Supplies is a relationship company, as it provides solutions to its clients, not just products. Diaz’s mantra has always been to treat people with respect and develop long-term relationships. This was crucial when he started his business and continues to be a key ingredient in Impact’s success.
In 1991, Diaz had to make a life changing decision – look for a job or start a business. The entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he called on all the relationships he had established with suppliers and clients, and Impact Industrial Supplies was born.
Working from home, Diaz and his wife created the business concept with an initial workforce of three people. They provided industrial supplies services and product delivery to clients from a small warehouse in Tampa and sold less than $200,000 a year. Today, Impact conducts business from a 15,000 square foot property in Tampa, which was purchased in 2001.
By the early 2000s, Diaz saw that competition was becoming fierce and he needed to adjust in order to keep up. A business opportunity with a federal prime contractor helped him come up with Impact’s new strategy of being a solutions-driven company. This new strategy translated into an eight-year relationship valued at $1 million per year.
As a Hispanic-owned company, Diaz took advantage of the networking opportunities facilitated by the north-central Florida Minority Supplier Development Council to set the foundation with buyers such as Walt Disney World, United Space Alliance, Progress Energy-Duke, and Honeywell.
“Being a certified minority-owned business has granted me better access to corporations that otherwise would have taken longer and considerably more resources,” he said.
John first reached out to the Florida SBDC in 2002 when he participated in the Annual Small Business Government Conference and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). The event facilitates communication between small businesses and local, state, and federal agencies, in addition to large government prime contractors and other corporations.
Diaz has received more than 1,060 hours of consulting services and training from the SBDC, and receives continued communication on upcoming events that may benefit Impact Industrial Supplies.
“The organization allows me to network with SBDC consultants. I know I can count on reaching out to any of the SBDC consultants and will receive information or support,” he said.
Diaz has imparted his strong belief in family and long-term relationships to the Impact team. Business growth is not always easy to achieve and he recognizes that part of it includes having the right team in place. He places emphasis on developing team members who are motivated, take pride in the work they do, accept responsibilities and recognize they are accountable for the success of the company.
Currently, Diaz is grooming his daughter Jenna to be an important member of the Impact team and his wife Rhonda is the vice president of finance. He and the Impact team work to support the company motto, “The Easiest Supplier To Do Business With.”
Diaz says entrepreneurs must have certain qualities, including tenacity, optimism, stubbornness and productive paranoia.
He recognizes there is no point in dwelling on failures, but recommends entrepreneurs not dwell on success either. He says it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and its details; therefore, an entrepreneur needs to be bullheaded, not let events set them back, be a mule and not allow adversity to slow them down.