The Easiest Supplier to Do Business With is Making an Impact in FL

More than a business, it is a family affair -- 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, closed 2012 with sales of $6.4 million, and was named the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2013 Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year for the South Florida District.

Building a Business on Respect

Impact is described as a relationship company as it provides solutions to its clients, not just products. Owner John Diaz's mantra has always been to treat people with respect and develop long-term relationships. He felt that this was crucial when he started his business and it continues to be a key ingredient in Impact's success.

It was 1991 when John had to make a life-changing decision: look for a job or start a business. The entrepreneurial spirit he felt kicked in; John called on all the relationships he had established with suppliers and clients; and Impact Industrial Supplies was born. Working from home, John and his wife created the business concept and with an initial workforce of three, they provided industrial supplies services and product delivery to clients from a small warehouse in Tampa, selling less than $200,000 a year. Today, Impact conducts business from a 15,000 square foot property in Tampa, which was purchased in 2001.

Becoming a Solutions Driven Minority Owned Business

By the early 2000s, John saw that competition was becoming fierce and he needed to adjust to continue in business. A business opportunity with a federal prime contractor helped John come up with Impact's new strategy of being solutions-driven, not just a product provider. This new strategy translated into an eight-year relationship valued at $1 million per year. Impact Industrial Supplies is very proud of its long-standing client relationships.

As a Hispanic-owned company, John took advantage of the networking opportunities facilitated by the north-central Florida Minority Supplier Development Council to set the foundation with buyers like Walt Disney World, United Space Alliance, Progress Energy-Duke, Honeywell, and many more. "Being a certified minority-owned business has granted me better access to corporations that otherwise would have taken longer and considerably more resources," said John.

Teamwork Makes a Big Impact

John first reached out to the Florida SBDC at USF in 2002 when he participated in the Annual Small Business Government Conference presented by the FSBDC through its Government Contracting Services. This event facilitates communication between small businesses and local, state, and federal agencies, in addition to large government prime contractors and other corporations. John has received over 1,060 hours of consulting services and training from the FSBDC and receives continued communication on upcoming events that may benefit Impact Industrial Supplies.

John has imparted his strong belief in family and long-term relationships to the Impact team. Business growth is not always easy to achieve and John recognizes that part of it is having the right team in place. He places a lot of emphasis on developing team members who are motivated, who take pride in the work they do, accept responsibilities and recognize they are accountable for the success of Impact Industrial Supplies.

Currently, John is grooming his daughter, Jenna, to be an important member of the Impact team and his wife, Rhonda, is the vice president of finance. John and the Impact team work to support their company motto "The Easiest Supplier To Do Business With".

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The organization allows me to network with FSBDC consultants. I know I can count on reaching out to any of the FSBDC consultants and will receive information or support.”

John Diaz, Owner — Impact Industrial Supplies, Inc.