Southwestern Publishing COmpany

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's July 2001

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A History of Success Since 1855 History The Southwestern Company, located in Nashville, Tennessee, has been in business since 1855. In 1868, the company began helping students finance their school expenses and organized a sales force to sell books. Southwestern markets family-oriented educational reference books through a sales force of nearly 4,000 students each summer, representing approximately 400 colleges and universities from the United States, Canada, and Europe. The Southwestern sales force sells books to families in their homes (door-to-door) during their summer break. The sales force are independent contractors and have the opportunity to run their own business by purchasing products from Southwestern at wholesale and selling them to customers at retail.

The Southwestern Company successfully weathered the disruption of two world wars and the Great Depression. At the end of World War II, a group of young men, who had themselves been student salesman, returned and joined in rebuilding the company, surrounding it with their own energy, creativity, and dedication to the company's basic principles of hard work, superior service, and building character in young people.

A leader in Nashville's thriving business community, The Southwestern Company has been locally owned and controlled for almost its entire history. From 1969 to 1982, Southwestern was part of the prestigious Times Mirror communications group. After that period, the management and employees showed their confidence in the company and its future in the Nashville community by repurchasing its stock from Times Mirror and returning control to local hands. Today, they are proud to build on the foundation of their current 2,000 person sales force from around the world. Southwestern is a definite leader in the direct sales industry.

Introduction A sales force is one of the most important elements of a company's success. Not only are sales the...