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Joe Tatulli Part 3
The Glasser Group
The Glasser Group works out of highly efficient offices in Tampa, Florida. You may think you understand their business but like most companies you should never judge the book by its cover. To the untrained or uninformed eye the Glasser Group is simply a manufacturer's representative. But Dennis Moody, Senior Vice President and Glasser Group partner, told us 'the rest of the story'.
"Most reps work with the retailers on behalf of the manufacturer," said Moody. "Here we offer a manufacturer much, much more. In essence we develop detailed marketing and business plans for many of our key vendors. In a lot of instances we are a manufacturer's customer service department, their traffic department. We are their marketing department and their sales department. I have been in the home furnishings business for over twenty-five years and I have never seen another company that fills the roles like we do for manufacturer and retailer alike," Moody said.
"We have some arrangements with some vendors that have come about because of the unique nature of the skills we bring to the table," Glasser said.
As we spoke both Glasser and Moody fielded phone calls regarding some pressing shipping and product introduction issues.
"In the case of Monticello Oak," said Glasser, "We got involved with their futon furniture program from day one, and I mean day one. They came to us to set the whole program up."
Glasser's biggest and most visible client, Gold Bond, had already established itself when Glasser approached them for their business.
"Gold Bond owned a large portion of the Northeast's futon mattress market when I made my proposal to them. Bobby was responsible for introducing us to National Woodcraft/Tri-Gold, one of the original futon manufacturers in the futon business. Today we've opened an account in almost every state in the union. We handle the business for Gold Bond outside the Northeast, including the traffic and shipping all over the country. No other rep group does what we do for our vendors and futon retailers," Glasser said. He also credited his friend Bob Naboicheck with being the single most positive influence, next to his wife, in his success.
"Bobby is tough to please, very high standards," Glasser noted, "but whenever we need him to come through he has always been there for us and for every one of his retail customers that we serve."
Speaking again about the arrangement with Monticello Oak Futons Glasser says, "We worked with them on the product line from bringing in Pete (Dodge) to do the mechanism and getting Steve (Sanfillipo) to do the designs."
"We put all the pieces together for them. We were even involved with developing the finishes," said Moody.
"Dennis and I sat down and did a full two year sales plan and marketing budget for them. We became a part of their future by coming through with the vision necessary to get them into the business in the first place," Glasser said. He added, "We don't just act as the middle man. We become the eyes, hands, feet, and voice of the futon manufacturer or vendor."
The Glasser Group not only helped Monticello move into the futon frame manufacturing business, they guided them with the development of products, collateral, POP materials, trade advertising and public relations.
"We called in Bruce (Alexander) to handle all the ads and PR and he has done a great job for us," said Moody.
"Island Futon is very similar," said Glasser, "In terms of bringing Russ (Kramer) to the table and many other aspects of the marketing and freight logistics and traffic. We offer them so much more than just sales."
Russ Kramer, also of Tampa, is responsible for most of the images associated with many of the Glasser Group's vendors.
The Logistics Business
One of the most unique and also one of the most complex aspects of Glasser's business is the movement of product across the country. His key vendors are not located in a single geographic area, and his futon dealers are all over the place.
"Take Gold Bond for example," says Glasser, "We do all the traffic for every unit that they ship outside of the Northeast. The route plan for every truck that leaves the dock in Hartford is generated right here in Tampa."
"Mary (Sloan) keeps track of everything out front on a huge tracking board. We know where the product is and when it will arrive," said Moody.
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