The company has expanded into distributing product areas such as: industrial rubber (hose, heavy belting and lightweight belting); electrical products (motors and drives); fluid power; material handling; warehouse products; lubricants; industrial safety; general industrial products and gearing.
IBT has also added a range of services, from training to video production to industrial maintenance services.
One of the newest areas of expansion has been Integrated Services Group for supply-chain management, which focuses on helping people work smarter, work harder, make money, create an orderly flow of inventory/information and use technology to help manage the processes.
Although the team of Forrest and Bonnie Cloud was a force to be reckoned with, early on they realized that growth would only come through having other, similarly motivated associates.
So they added two people who helped form the DNA and the culture of the company that has expanded and prospered to this day: Jack Bailes and Phil McMonigal.
Third employee on the team, Bailes was an early innovator in office systems and built the foundation for IBT’s ability to expand into many branch locations.
McMonigal, Vice President of Sales, joined IBT in 1950. He brought energy, knowledge and professionalism and established IBT’s customer focus and problem-solving approach to sales and service.
The company has always been based in the Greater Kansas City area. They started at 1535 Broadway then moved a year later to 1230 Oak, and after another year, to 1625 Grand.
They stayed put there until 1953 and then moved a few short blocks to 2450 Broadway. In July of 1962, the company relocated to 1700 Cherry, which, even though the headquarters moved in 1974, that location was an IBT branch until 2006.
The move to 2450 Summit in 1974 was followed by the construction of the company’s current home, in Merriam, Kansas in March, 1981.
Expansion beyond the city meant opening branches. The first was in Wichita, followed by Topeka and Tulsa, OK. And, many more since then – with the company currently operating in 41 locations.
America in 2009 is a far cry from 1949. The society and economy have been through many changes. Through war and peace. Through prosperity and austerity. Technology has revolutionized business, several times over.
The founding Clouds have both passed away, yet in the way that things are important, IBT is not so different after all.
Steve Cloud, son of the founders – who was born the year they first opened their doors – is president. And a third generation of the family has started working for IBT.
The principles of taking care of the customer, delivering for the supplier and valuing the associates are all still very much observed and honored today.
And, you might expect, that they will be for the next sixty years, as well.
|Forrest L. Cloud
Founder Forrest Cloud was exuberant, energetic and had great business acumen. A person of passion and spirit that influenced all who knew him, he lived his motto: “We can do that.”
|Bonnie Louise Cloud
Bonnie and Forrest started the company in 1949. Her influence added the key principle that shaped IBT: treat people the right way and appreciate their efforts.