With over 3 centuries of combined internal distribution knowledge and experience, Sequoia Group has always been dedicated to delivering outstanding products and superior service to their customers within the distribution marketplace.
Officially launched in 1994, Sequoia specializes in industry-specific solutions to multiple industries, but they remain “The Distribution Specialists” for a reason. Their solutions are designed to improve distribution enterprise by increasing efficiencies, reducing waste, solving problems, and most importantly, always adding value to their clients’ bottom line.
A client of Gravitate Online since 2019, we have worked with Sequoia Group in multiple digital marketing initiatives. We are proud and fortunate to call them our client.
Recently we caught up with Steven Fitt, President at Sequoia Group, and asked him about his company’s history, and what has made it so unique and successful throughout the years.
Here are Steve’s answers:
Q: How long have you been at Sequoia Group, and what was your background before Sequoia Group?
A: Prior to Sequoia Group, I worked for a wholesale distribution company where I spent time working a variety of responsibilities. It was a fascinating time for me because there I realized that my attitude had an impact. I discovered, as an example, I could change the gross margin of the company sometimes as much as 1%, just by bringing a positive attitude. It was also my first real introduction to distribution.
Before that I was in the construction industry where I had some brief stints. I was also a licensed journeyman plumber for many years.
Q: How does Sequoia Group help solve distribution challenges?
A: We continue to find that for most smaller distribution companies, it’s often what they don’t know that makes the difference. They’re often still trying to do the right thing and operate the way Grandpa did 40-50 years ago, and there’s so much we can help them understand from an operational and educational standpoint with technology working towards their advantage and unlocking additional efficiencies with strategies and philosophies that exist within our distribution world.
And even for the bigger companies with broader understandings and larger operations, we help them in much the same way. Although it is at a different level, we provide the necessary education and operational recommendations – paired with more advanced technological toolsets to provide the efficiency and accuracy that must be found in those organizations.
Q: What makes Sequoia Group different from competitors?
A: This may come off as a sappy answer, but I feel that what makes us different from our competitors is the fact that we care. It’s really as simple as that, we care.
If we can’t help a business to do better, we’d rather shake their hand and say ‘it’s great to know you’ and not do the deal, because if we can’t help them, we don’t want the business.
I maintain that we are agile, responsive, and provide meaningful value, because we care.
Q: What types of clients does Sequoia typically seek?
A: Almost everything we do revolves around businesses with a large warehouse. We do some retail, some manufacturing, but only in scenarios that require lots of inventory inside of a warehouse.
Our focus, primarily, is complex distribution – so large distributorships and 3PL organizations are main targets for Sequoia Group. Whether it’s small, to medium size, to the big boys, we have the right solutions to help them.
Q: Over the past few years, what’s been the biggest evolution within the software Sequoia Group provides?
A: While it’s hard to quantify, just because businesses are all so different, I’d say an ever-increasing focus on business metrics is the biggest evolution we’ve seen. The analytics related to what their people are doing, and how effectively they are doing it, have become key elements. In fact, analytics covering all aspects of their operation are now required in each opportunity. These metrics are used to drive ongoing initiatives toward further efficiency and effectiveness of business operations.
Q: What seems to be the biggest challenges within warehouse environments going into 2021 and beyond?
There’s been quite a significant shift because of the pandemic, to more of an ecommerce environment where everybody wants to order online, and they want it to be delivered today, which has been quite a shift from yesterday’s expectations.
Companies like Amazon and Walmart are leading the charge, while others like Target are working really hard to catch up. But I would still say the biggest challenge distributors have today is making sure they have the right quantity of the right products and the ability to move them through their warehouse with utmost accuracy and efficiency.
Q: How has marketing helped Sequoia Group’s relevance in the past couple of years?
A: I’ve always known marketing is a critically important component of successful business, but it’s often difficult for me to quantify. We operate in a very challenging industry when it comes to generating organic leads and creating brand awareness for our business.
We’ve felt fortunate as we’ve watched our social media outreach increase, driving impressions and placing us on the radars of potential clients. SEO efforts on our behalf have helped increase website traffic and exposure. These combined, consistent initiatives through Gravitate One on our behalf have led to stronger relevance for Sequoia Group. Their work represents a significant improvement in these areas for us. Working with their team is a great experience. They do it right!
Q: As President at Sequoia Group, what’s one core belief that drives the way you lead your business?
A: I’d say it evolves around our employees, our team. I joke that in the old days, we used to hire people because of what they knew – or their knowledge and skill set. But then down the road we’d fire them because of who they were. (laughs)
So then we started hiring people because of who they were, and then we’d teach them – if there were specifics they needed to learn.
That philosophy has been tremendous for us because now we work with people who we love, our team is awesome, and I can’t imagine working with anyone else. So to go full circle, touching again on caring, our team members know that we care, that I care about them, and then they can’t help but share that same thought pattern with our customers as they take great care of them.
About Sequoia Group:
Sequoia Group is dedicated to delivering outstanding products mated with superior service and support to the broad complex distribution marketplace. We specialize in industry-specific solutions to medical, pharmaceutical, and 3PL environments to name a few. Integrity is at the heart of everything we do, from the engineering of our powerful 3PL solutions, to the valued relationships we form with each and every client. At Sequoia group, we are concerned about client success and always have a team of experts ready to assist in any way possible. We are constantly striving to improve and build upon our solutions while maintaining valuable communication with our customers.
About Gravitate One:
Since 2008, Gravitate One has provided exceptional marketing to those who are serious about growth. Our full-suite of services enables businesses of all sizes to create and maintain top-of-mind reference through impeccable websites, SEO, paid ads, email, video, social, and strategy. Along the way, we’ve accumulated success stories from all over the place. Each one tells a story of a business owner or marketing director that has trusted us with their marketing, and been elated by the results. Ready, set, G.O.