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Michael J. Donovan
05-09-2008, 09:44 AM
Smiths South-Central Sales Garners Ichiban Award as Shindaiwa’s Top Distributor

Smiths South-Central Sales from Springhill, Louisiana has won Shindaiwa’s esteemed Ichiban award for best distributor worldwide for 2007. Ichiban is the Japanese word for “Number One.” The award was announced at Shindaiwa’s distributor meeting in Louisville, Kentucky Oct. 23. Accepting the award for Smiths were President and founder Billy Smith and Vice-President Robert Smith.

“It was major for us to receive that recognition,” Robert Smith said. “With all the players in the field, all the top distributors world-wide, we were not expecting to win. We work hard every day to grow, not only our Shindaiwa business, but all product lines, so this is certainly is a special award for our company.”
Smiths South Central consists of 30 employees including six territory salesmen and distributes Shindaiwa throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas. Over the past 35 years, Smiths South Central has evolved from a small operation selling oil and logging tools into an important distribution center in the outdoor power equipment industry. Smiths and Shindaiwa began a partnership in 1987 and have had a strong relationship ever since.

“Smiths was a natural for our Ichiban distributor,” Shindaiwa President Tom Bunch said. “They have earned the prestigious Samurai designation for all five years of this program and have continuously provided outstanding service and value to dealers. Our market share has been steadily growing and we very much appreciate our open and long-term relationship with Billy and Robert Smith and the rest of their team.”
All Shindaiwa distributors worldwide compete to be named Ichiban but only one distributor is awarded each year. The Ichiban award criteria includes customer service excellence, creative dealer merchandising programs, and much more. The Ichiban is awarded an authentic Japanese Kabuto (warrior helmet) and an additional check for $7,500.

“Being named Ichiban certainly gives great satisfaction and a good feeling of accomplishment throughout our entire team” Smith said. “We couldn’t begin to do the job that we do without our dedicated staff and the support we receive from Shindaiwa. It’s extremely rewarding that Shindaiwa feels that Smiths is deserving of this award.”
A world leader in producing commercial-grade outdoor power equipment and environmentally-friendly small engine technologies, Shindaiwa products are distributed exclusively through clean two-step distribution and independent servicing dealers. For more information, please contact Shindaiwa, Inc. Tualatin, Oregon (800) 521-7733. Or visit www.shindaiwa.com.