Clark’s new V.P. on how business must develop

Clark Material Handling Company announced the appointment of Scott Johnson to Vice President of Business Development. His title is a concise description of what he, and others like him in the industrial truck industry, must accomplish. One of his priorities is strengthening the company’s distribution network. He acknowledges a number of challenges in doing that.

“These include open territories that need to be filled, evaluating specific dealers to determine their long term commitment to the Clark brand, positioning Clark ‘higher’ within a dealership, and competing for that all important share of mind,” he told MHM.

A big opportunity will be found in the aftermarket.

“We continue to work with dealers on the critical importance of supporting their OEM parts programs,” he continues. “Companies like Clark need all the aftermarket business we can get to invest those dollars back into new product development, R&D and advanced technologies. While we still have work to do we are very encouraged with the progress we have made with the Clark Totalift program and product additions such as tires, chargers, forks and pallet jacks.”

Financing is another big opportunity for lift truck distributors. While credit lines remain a challenge for the industry, Johnson sees relief coming.

“Our team in Lexington, KY, led by Farruk Ghani our Vice President of Finance, has been able to partner with a number of financial institutions to create what we believe are unique rate and residual combinations that when properly applied place Clark in an extremely competitive light,” he says.

However, he concedes that educating sales people and sales managers on financing programs and how to best apply them represents another challenge.While committing to that challenge, Johnson also looks forward to the possibility of Clark adding non-lift-truck-related product segments to its business.

Johnson credits Clark’s president, Dennis Lawrence, with much of the organic growth the company has enjoyed, and concludes that whatever the company does, it won’t distract from what Clark and every other lift truck OEM must focus on: supporting their dealers.

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