Get to Know: Ben Morris
States covered: Alabama, Florida panhandle, Tennessee (east)
Heilig Meyers Furniture, 8 yrs as Credit Manager & GM
DSI Systems, Inc./O’Rourke Sales Company – CE, Appliance, Furniture distribution, 24 years as Territory and Regional Manager
Nationwide Marketing Group, 2 years as an MSM
Middle Tennessee State University (2 years, no degree earned)
Total years of experience with the independent channel/retail
33 years in the independent channel, eight of those years were in retail stores.
What motivates you to get up and go to work for the Independent retailer every day?
Knowing that in my role with NMG I can truly help make a difference in an independent retailer’s business and their lives. We can help them become more efficient and ultimately more profitable.
Tell us about your role at NMG.
In my role as an MSM with NMG, I work with our existing Members to help them maximize the benefits available to them through the group with the ultimate goal being able to grow their business and make their business more efficient and more profitable. I work with Members to help resolve issues that arise with vendor partners and service providers and help connect them with new opportunities they are interested in. Communication and training are vital as we work in a constantly changing retail environment.
Why did you want to come work at NMG?
Because I truly feel that what we as an organization offer our Members makes a difference. It’s rewarding work helping independent retailers survive and thrive.
Why do you think NMG is the best buying group for Independent retailers in today’s climate?
I believe we are on the leading edge of the digital transition. The retail environment is quickly changing, and our programs and providers offer our Members the best of the best options. I also believe during the current COVID crisis our team has proven we have a great ability to gather information, assimilate it and get it out to our Members and anyone else that can use it in an extremely timely manner and in an easy to comprehend way. Communication is vital, and our management team put together some incredible information and programs. Our vendor partners and service provider partners are top notch and our NLA training suite is a great tool for businesses to utilize. Additionally, our merchant teams are always looking for new opportunities to help our Members grow and diversify their product portfolios.
What is the most important project you are working on right now, and why?
Helping our members make the transition to a digital world in terms of advertising, website presence, and social media presence. Businesses that do not or cannot embrace the current and future retail environment will have a difficult time competing for business.
What is your favorite memory from your time at NMG?
I do not know that I can think of one favorite memory. I have enjoyed all the time I have been with NMG. I like traveling and meeting the Members, learning about them and their businesses. I also like the PrimeTime shows.
What do you like most about your job?
Plain and simple: helping people.
What else do you want people to know about you and NMG?
I’m married to my wonderful wife Tami. We have five awesome children that keep us going. Our youngest child has special needs; she has Cerebral Palsy. It’s challenging but very much a blessing, as all the kiddos are! We have two awesome granddaughters! I enjoy spending time with the family, working outside (just started gardening) and playing an occasional round of golf. And you can’t live in the south and not like SEC football in the fall!
Nationwide Marketing Group works on behalf of thousands of independent appliance, furniture, bedding, electronics, specialty electronics, custom installation and rent-to-own dealers helping them grow their businesses and thrive on their own terms. With more than 5,000 members operating some 14,000 storefronts, Nationwide Marketing Group is the largest buying, marketing and business support organization of its kind, representing billions in combined annual sales across the membership. For nearly 50 years, the organization has remained committed to the independent channel, empowering members with the scale, sophistication and efficiencies they need to compete while delivering the unmatched business intelligence, tools and resources required to win in an ever-changing business environment.