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Minority Business Accelerator 2.5+ Client Strong Tool Lands Multimillion Dollar Deal With GE Healthcare
Date:7/13/2009

CLEVELAND, July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- By diversifying its customer base with the assistance of the Minority Business Accelerator 2.5+, Strong Tool Company, has landed a three-year, multimillion-dollar contract with GE Healthcare. Strong Tool, a distributor of metalworking products and industrial supplies, formerly was focused primarily on the automotive industry, which about 55 percent of its customer base.

"The automotive industry has been taking a beating," said Strong Tool President Cedric Beckett, "so we started pursuing medical and health care-related companies." Strong Tool will provide GE Healthcare with integrated management services for a wide range of miscellaneous MRO (maintenance and repair operating supplies) items. "Basically, they're looking for us to serve as a one-stop service to provide miscellaneous commodities to help them run their facilities and help build MRI and CAT scan machines," he said. He estimates the value of the contract at about $4 million-$6 million annually.

GE Healthcare's supplier diversity program works with minority-owned suppliers on multiple levels, including directly purchasing goods and/or services, introducing them to opportunities with other GE businesses, and providing introductions to other major purchasers. This approach has opened new windows of opportunity for companies such as Strong Tool.

Ralph Strosin, GE Healthcare's general manager of global sourcing, said he was very comfortable in bringing Strong Tool to the attention of other GE business units. "We took a look at a few companies, and (Cedric) set himself apart from the others," said Strosin, who based his recommendations on Strong Tool's impressive quality, productivity and delivery.

"We only make up a small fraction of the total company, but when we find a great supplier who's able
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SOURCE Greater Cleveland Partnership
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