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Stanion Wholesale Electric wins for process of quantifying and tracking value added services

Tour de Force, Inc. congratulates the winner of the 2016 Award for Best Innovation. The Innovation Awards are intended to recognize the creative and exciting ways that Tour de Force clients are using the system. The winner was announced on Mon. Oct. 3rd at the Tour de Force Connections Annual Customer Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Stanion Wholesale Electric was selected as the Best Innovation by the Tour de Force Executive Team for their use of Tour de Force to quantify and track value added services that they provide to their customers.  Stanion has national contracts that require them to provide cost savings equal to a certain percentage of a customer’s total spending. These cost savings are achieved through the delivery of value added services and benefits. When it came time to prepare annual cost savings reports, the team at Stanion struggled to compile the necessary information. Sales representatives and branch managers would schedule internal meetings to identify and review the services that had been delivered, meetings that involved multiple resources and would stretch into days and even weeks.

According to Dennis Guey, Vice President of Sales at Stanion:

Using Tour de Force to manage this process has resulted in significant productivity savings. We have 17 branches and were tying up each branch for weeks at a time trying to create these reports. That has been eliminated now and our sales team doesn’t have to scramble to find this information: it’s all in Tour de Force. Since we’ve been doing this we’ve had no problems meeting our percentage of cost savings; in fact, we typically have a higher amount than what’s required. We knew we were doing it before, we just weren’t documenting it.”

Other finalists for Best Innovation included ABCO for centralizing their vendor co-op programs, Etna Supply for streamlining business processes, Penn-Air & Hydraulics Corp. for creating an automated assembly queue, and Powerstep for streamlining sample requests. Finalists for Best Use Case included Allegis Corporation for improving quoting processes, O’Dell Associates for automating project backlog reports, PHD for replacing a homegrown customized CRM, and Springfield Electric Supply Company for driving e-commerce.

To learn more about the 2016 Innovation Award Finalists and Winners, visit www.tourdeforceinc.com/2016InnovationAwards


Stanion Wholesale Electric Co. is a full-service wholesale electric distributor. Founded in Pratt, Kansas in 1961, Stanion has since grown to 17 branches that service the entire state of Kansas and parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Nebraska. Learn more at www.stanion.com


By: Ashley Parinello


Ericson Logo

Ericson Manufacturing, engineering and manufacturing of temporary power and lighting products, has selected Tour de Force to replace the their current CRM solution.

Ericson will be implementing the Tour de Force Premier Edition to a team of 20 users, including inside sales, business development managers, customer support, and the executive management team. The deployment of Tour de Force is intended to shorten the business cycle and improve conversion rates through improved opportunity, project, and lead management, while providing improved access to business intelligence, analytics, and reporting through extensive integration with Ericson’s Epicor Vantage ERP system. Tour de Force will be working with Ericson through their conversion to Epicor ERP E10, scheduled to take place in late 2016.

The CRM selection committee at Ericson began reviewing Tour de Force after a reference from another Tour de Force client focused in industrial manufacturing. That reference, combined with Tour de Force’s experience in the manufacturing industry and extensive integration capabilities with Epicor Vantage, ultimately lead to Ericson’s decision to convert to Tour de Force.

John Ericson, Operations Manager said,

“Ericson was looking for a simple yet robust CRM system that would allow integration from our marketing automation software all the way to our ERP system. Ericson has revamped both its marketing and sales processes, which in term only makes sense to move to a customized sales platform allowing both lead development to business intelligence.”

About Ericson Manufacturing:

Ericson Manufacturing is the industry leader in electrical safety products, focused on engineering and manufacturing of temporary power and lighting solutions. Ericson’s commitment to delivering safe and innovative products, which is demonstrated by UL, ETL, CSA listings and NEC/CEC and OSHA Code compliance, is incorporated into every design. ISO 9001 certification, 24/7 emergency customer support, and professional application engineering support ensures that our customers receive the highest quality products and customer experience possible. Since 1918 the company, based in Willoughby, Ohio, has delivered unsurpassed service and solutions to industrial and commercial customers. Ericson’s solutions energize, protect, illuminate and connect. For additional information please visit www.ericson.com.

By: Ashley Parinello

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

Bill Gates spoke those words which couldn’t ring truer than with the Tour de Force User Group. The annual conference is typically jam packed with breakout sessions, keynote speeches and support from Tour de Force employees, helping to make clients experience with Tour de Force as efficient and effective as possible.

The 2015 Tour de Force User Group Conference was held in the beautiful Tempe, Arizona nestled in between Phoenix and Scottsdale, in the heart of it all.

Beautiful Arizona sunset over Phoenix and Tempe

Day 1 – Welcome Session and Breakout Sessions

Marcie Palmer, Sales & Marketing Administrator for ETNA Supply and President of the TDF User Group, kicked off the conference with an overview of the User Group’s accomplishments for the year.

A successful user group shares thoughts and ideas with one another, and helps their peers should a question arise. To improve the process of sharing information between members, Palmer was joined by Brian Harrington, IT Director for Conveyor & Caster – Equipment for Industry and Vice President of the TDF User Group, and together they introduced the new user group member forum. Set up in a question and answer format, the forum is meant to connect users so they can share ideas, ask questions about how their peers are using certain features, share best practices related to the use of Tour de Force within their respective organizations.

Question and Answer Forum

The new Question and Answer Forum on the Tour de Force User Group website.

Palmer also introduced a CRM mentoring program that is meant to connect a new user of Tour de Force with a like business that has experience within the software.

In 2015, the user group board recognized the need for a personable opportunity to connect with other users more than just once a year at the annual conference. Palmer reviewed the success of a regional pilot user group that has been established in Michigan to create opportunities for members to meet once a quarter to discuss Tour de Force and their business needs. The board hopes to use the success of this group as a springboard towards creating more regional groups throughout the country.

Another success of the user group board in 2015 was creation of steering committees. Feedback on software is one of the strongest indicators of user adoption and drives the need for product enhancements. Two steering committees were established to help provide that valuable feedback to the Tour de Force development team. The first steering committee was designated to work with Tour de Force on the design of a new mobile platform, and another steering committee focused on the creation of a new Lead Management module.

Palmer closed the Welcome Session with information on education pieces provided for clients to get the most out of their experience with Tour de Force. Video newsletters sent out monthly by Tour de Force, monthly webinars, and white papers on the online forum written by users are all provided to clients of Tour de Force.

Throughout the conference there were a multitude of breakout sessions on topics ranging from sales, marketing, and IT to operations and administrator.

Shooting the Gap: Analyzing Sales Data Faster and How to Show Sales Reps Actionable Sales Prep with TDF was presented by Marcie Palmer and TJ White. One of the main points presented was a key difference in sales gap analysis between various distribution and manufacturing industries is knowing product dependencies.

Cory Comer of Heitek and Brian Harrington of Conveyor & Caster presented at Hey Bro – You Want to Funnel a Sale? Pipeline management and sales funnel optimization. Comer posed the question, “If you can’t show vendors your associated sales pipelines, why would they continue to pass you leads?”

Monday Session Agenda

Day 1 – Dinner and Awards Ceremony

Monday night offered a networking reception followed by dinner and awards presentation. Matt Hartman, President/CEO of Tour de Force, presented awards to clients who have been with Tour de Force for 10 years, and Innovation Awards for clients who are using the Tour de Force application in a unique way.

10 year awards were presented to Hartfiel Automation, Western States Controls Group, OEM Controls, Inc. and Hydra-Fab Fluid Power, Inc.

Innovation Awards were given to three different companies using Tour de Force in a unique way.

ABCO HVACR received an Innovation Award for their use of the Tour de Force API and the Event Manager Module to manage their ABCO University website. The Event Manager integrates to the website to manage classes, location, subscriptions and event confirmations. This has created a more streamlined and efficient process for ABCO University training classes.

Campbell Supply Co. also received an Innovation Award for their Quote to Opportunity automated process that they worked with the Tour de Force Professional Services Team to implement. This process gives them the ability to take quotes that are entered into their Epicor Acclaim ERP system, and automatically create an associated Opportunity in Tour de Force based on a set of pre-defined criteria. This process has eliminated the need for paper copies of quotes for the sales representatives, which has resulted in higher visibility on quotes and better accountability for those sales reps because quotes no longer fall through the cracks if the paper copy was misplaced.

Stemmer Imaging’s use of the Tour de Force Action Panel with their phone system XPhone earned them an Innovation Award as well. The Action Panel is a Tour de Force feature which displays a pop-up menu containing a wide range of available actions and historical views. STEMMER Imaging configured a link to the Action Panel from within their XPhone phone system, allowing a person making or receiving a call to access an Action Panel related to the person on the other end of the phone call. This was a huge process improvement from the team at STEMMER, who were previously using a search function to locate the Contact while they were on the phone call. The employees who utilize this function love how efficient it has made them in their various positions.

The Innovation Awards are new this year, and will continue to be a part of the conference in the years to come.

Day 2 – Tour de Force Keynote and Breakout Sessions

Day two was initiated with a keynote address by Tour de Force President/CEO Matt Hartman. During the presentation, Hartman outlined who Tour de Force is as an organization and provided insight into the company’s Mission Statement and Executive team. He then dove into a review of the company’s performance over the last five years, facts about the companies who use Tour de Force, a review of what the organization has accomplished so far, and a look ahead to what’s in store for 2016.

Hartman then gave the audience a sneak peek into the new web and mobile interfaces that the development team has been working on in 2015. The “ooh’s and aah’s” from the audience said a lot about what they thought of the changes and the direction of the interface!

Lastly, Hartman introduced the new Team TDF referral program meant to reward clients for referring new prospects to TDF. For a full explanation of the referral program or to refer someone, visit www.tourdeforceinc.com/refer today!

Attendees left Tempe motivated, with new ideas, new features to implement to their systems, and new friends. Tour de Force clients are a part of the Tour de Force family, and the conference is a family reunion unlike any other. Be sure to watch the blog for information on the 2016 conference!

By: Rechelle Bischoff

Oct.8-9, 2012

Optional Golf Outing Oct. 10th

TDF User Group

We are very excited to be launching the TDF User Group this fall at our first ever user group conference, Lift-Off 2012. The conference is open to any Tour de Force CRM user who wants to learn more about the product, connect with other users and share best practices, and influence the future direction of Tour de Force CRM and the TDF User Group.

The conference is being held at the Ann Arbor Marriott at Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti, MI. The resort is located on Eastern Michigan University’s Eagle Crest Golf Club, a 135 acre championship golf course that has been given a “4-Star” rating by Golf Digest Magazine for the past four years. The resort is conveniently located 14 miles from Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) for guests that are flying in.

The registration fee is $250 per person and the optional Golf Outing is $60 per person. For more details and the registration form, download the TDF User Group 2012 Conference Flyer.

Click the link to make hotel reservations at the discounted rate of $129.00 per night. Reservations must be made by Sept. 7, 2012 in order to qualify for the group rate. Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest >>


Want to stay up to date on the latest TDF User Group news?  Join the TDF User Group on LinkedIn!


By: Ashley Parinello

FINDLAY, OH – Tour de Force CRM, Inc. has formally announced that Kirby Risk Electrical Supply has selected Tour de Force CRM for their CRM, sales force automation (SFA), and business intelligence (BI) needs.

Over the course of the past 5 years, Kirby Risk Electrical Supply has implemented multiple CRM and SFA solutions including Sales Management Plus (SMP) and an internally developed web based solution. Tour de Force CRM was able to meet their needs by providing extensive integration with Kirby Risk’s primary business operation system, Epicor Eclipse, as well as extensive integration with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server.

After researching the various solutions that were available to Kirby Risk, the committee responsible for selecting a CRM system felt that the features offered in the Tour de Force CRM software, as well as the company’s knowledge of the distribution industry, were the best fit for Kirby Risk. As part of the due diligence process, Tour de Force CRM installed a proof of concept environment for Kirby Risk in March 2011. This environment included integration with their Epicor Eclipse ERP system so that various teams within the organization could evaluate the ease of use and functional feature set of Tour de Force CRM. After several months of testing, the team at Kirby Risk validated their interest in Tour de Force CRM and made the decision to proceed with a complete roll-out of Tour de Force CRM to over 300 members of their sales team.system, Epicor Eclipse, as well as extensive integration with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server.

The implementation project at Kirby Risk began in July 2011, and Tour de Force CRM went live for a Phase 1 group of 50 users in September 2011. By November 2011, Phase 2 had commenced with the remaining group of users going live on Tour de Force CRM. According to Mike Hauberg, Area Sales Manager -Industrial, “The implementation of Tour de Force CRM at Kirby Risk was one of the smoothest I have ever experienced. The ability of our account managers to start entering data with minimal training is an indication that Tour de Force CRM was designed with the user in mind.”


Kirby Risk Corporation is a multi-faceted company, dedicated to understanding and meeting their business partners’ needs with innovative, effective solutions. Their experience and network of resources provide customers with reliable technical assistance, logistics management, communications systems and quality products that not only meet their requirements, but also enhance their competitive position. Kirby Risk Electrical Supply provides high-quality, state-of-the-art electrical, automation, lighting and power distribution solutions to people responsible for maintenance, design and installation of electrical systems.


Tour de Force CRM is a customer relationship management (CRM), sales force automation (SFA), and business intelligence (BI) software solution that provides an organization with the tools they need to be more efficient and more effective. While Tour de Force CRM was developed specifically for the distribution industry, it’s an ideal fit for any organization that operates in a B2B selling environment, and is currently being utilized in the Distribution, Manufacturing, Construction, Furniture Dealer, and Technology industries. To learn more about Tour de Force CRM, including our full integration with Microsoft Outlook and most ERP systems, visit www.TourdeForceCRM.com.

Download the Press Release – Kirby Risk selects Tour de Force CRM.

By: Ashley Parinello

Industrial Supply Magazine

Cover Story by Johnston Supply Industrial





Johnston Industrial Supply makes wise technology investments to boost profitability!

Very few companies want to be on the “bleeding edge” when it comes to trying new technologies. Adopting a technology before it has been thoroughly tested – or before customers or employees are ready to use it – can be a costly mistake.

But smart business owners understand that applying the right technology can make a major impact on bottom-line profitability. Johnston Industrial Supply has discovered that wise investments in technology make good business sense.

“Technology touches every department in our company. We’ve been able to utilize it and reduce our workforce, yet continue to grow sales,” says company president Susie Johnston. “It has enabled us to be flexible enough to serve our customers and still give
them personalized service.”

Continue Reading…

via Industrial Supply Magazine by Rich Vurva

This article originally appeared in the Mar./Apr. 2012 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2012, Direct Business Media.

By: Ashley Parinello

We are excited to be attending the TUG Connects Conference held on February 15-18, 2012, at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country in San Antonio Texas! Make sure to get signed up to watch Tour de Force CRM live with Matt Hartman!


(821) So many CRM choices…Why Tour de Force CRM? (One session only) 

Presented By: Matt Hartman | Thursday February 16, 2012 2:45pm – 3:45pm @ Periwinkle Wildflower rooms

There are so many choices in the CRM market…how do you know which one is right for your organization?  Join Matt Hartman, President/CEO of Tour de Force CRM, to find out why Tour de Force CRM is the most comprehensive CRM solution available for the Distribution and Manufacturing industries!

Tour de Force CRM seamlessly integrates to your Infor ERP system, providing your sales team with a single application that they can use to see all sales history and business intelligence for their customers. Combine that with Microsoft Outlook integration, a fully functional mobile CRM solution, and a proven implementation process that’s led to a 98% customer retention rate, and it’s easy to see why Tour de Force CRM has gradually become the CRM of choice for distributors and manufacturers over the past 10 years.

During this session we’ll provide a brief introduction to Tour de Force CRM and demonstrate the capabilities of the system.  We’ll then review our competitive advantages over any other CRM system, and explore how those advantages can benefit your organization.

“Tour de Force CRM offers a seamless interface to our Infor SX.enterprise ERP system and a strong integration with Microsoft Outlook. These two features alone have led to a high level of adoption, even by our sales people that were unfamiliar with, and suspicious of, CRM applications. Both features have been instrumental in elevating our sales organization to a whole new level.” – Matt Onofrio, President, GT Midwest


(821) Mobile CRM for the Distribution Sales Professional (One session only)

Presented By: Matt Hartman | Friday February 17, 2012 2:45pm – 3:45pm @ Periwinkle Wildflower rooms

In today’s evolving business environment, the ability to access key information on the go is a driving force behind a sales force’s productivity. Tour de Force CRM offers mobility features which allow a sales person to be as productive in the field as they are in the office.

Tour de Force CRM Mobile provides extensive integration with Infor ERP systems, providing your sales team with a fully functional mobile tool that allows them to be more efficient and more effective, which in turn drives sales and revenues. Tour de Force CRM Mobile is much more than a mobile application that allows you to access your customer database on the go. Tour de Force CRM Mobile is a full featured customer relationship management and sales force automation program that was specifically developed to provide all of the functionality that a distribution sales person needs on a daily basis.

During this presentation we will be addressing the strategy behind the use of mobile CRM for the Distribution Sales Professional, focusing on the use of mobile CRM on tablets and how they can be used in your business to drive sales and revenues. We will also review and demonstrate the features and functionality of Tour de Force CRM Mobile.

By: Ashley Parinello

10 Year Anniversary

October 3, 2011

10 Year Anniversary

October 1, 2011 was the 10 year anniversary for MRH Technology Group and the Tour de Force CRM software solution. It seems like just yesterday that we were negotiating with two of our clients, The Hartfiel Company and The Neff Group, to install the very first version of Tour de Force CRM as our beta sites. After 10 years of working together with both companies we are still partners and many of the features available within the Tour de Force CRM solution can be credited to these two business partners. We are forever indebted to both The Hartfiel Company and The Neff Group for their continued belief in us and for sticking with us through some difficult upgrades.

Over the last 10 years, MRH Technology Group has been blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the best in class distributors and manufacturers across North America and in Europe. Some of the clients that purchased Tour de Force CRM during our first year of operations and remain as active customers today are:

Prominent Fluid Controls – Guelph, ON

Stemmer Imaging – UK/France/Germany

TIGG Manufacturing – Oakdale, PA

We are also extremely grateful to the above customers for their continued partnership and involvement in the evolution of Tour de Force CRM.

To all of the customers who have purchased Tour de Force CRM over the last 10 years, we are grateful and blessed to have you as a business partner today. We hope that in 10 years we are able to celebrate another 10 years of partnership with your company, and that today you are able to consider Tour de Force CRM as one of your mission critical software applications that has been essential in the growth and profitability of your company.

I thank you for your business and the opportunity to serve your company day after day.


Matt Hartman


MRH Technology Group, home of Tour de Force CRM


By: Ashley Parinello

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