Industrial Shelving Announces New Automation-Focused Sales Lead

Industrial Shelving Systems is excited to welcome John Fontaine as the company’s first Automation Sales Lead. John will help customers of Industrial Shelving Systems and its new division, ISS Material Handling, stay ahead of the curve as automation plays an increasingly important role in businesses of all sizes.

“We are thrilled to have John on board to lead this new division of providing Industrial Automation Solutions to our customers,” President, Tom Compton says. “We have always prided ourselves in helping our customers solve problems, and John’s knowledge and experience will allow us to become even more turnkey in providing solutions that will help our customers continue to grow and succeed.”

Many businesses are overwhelmed by the pace at which automation is changing the industrial sector. Fears of being left behind are complicated by uncertainty over which technologies to adopt. John’s role is to guide companies to the automated solutions best suited to their unique needs and goals.

After serving nine years in the U.S. Navy, John worked for a Boeing subsidiary specializing in unmanned ocean-going vehicles. He says the customer concerns he sees in the industrial sector – especially small to midsize manufacturing, warehousing, and eCommerce businesses – are similar to those he witnessed while working with automation and robotics in the defense industry.

“Automation is already well-established in many areas in the materials handling industry,” he says. “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ you adopt it, it’s ‘when.’ We’re helping our customers make sure they jump in at the right time and in the right way.”

John says the most exciting thing about his new role is the potential to help customers achieve explosive growth despite challenging economic circumstances, especially labor shortages. 

“A lot of our customers are family-owned companies that are experiencing positive demand for growth but think they’re not big enough or not high-volume enough for automation. The capabilities we can bring to those folks to scale is really exciting,” he says.

John holds a degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. To reach him, email

About ISS Material Handling

ISS Material Handling, a division of Industrial Shelving Systems, is an independent, third-generation, family-owned and operated business that has been serving customers nationwide since 1961. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, our team is known for working hard for every customer, always going above and beyond — part of the culture of our midwestern roots.


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