NAED Calls for Volunteers to Build Our Future

NAED Calls for Volunteers to Build Our Future

Help Build Our Future: Volunteer for One of These 2022 Vital Industry Initiatives

NAED is launching several initiatives in 2022, and we need your help. We understand your time is valuable. NAED volunteer opportunities won’t take away from your day job. In fact, you will help move the industry forward and enhance your value while building your professional network.

Please take a look at what we will be working on in 2022. If you have a passion for any of these issues, please get involved in one of these task forces. Or, if you think one of your co-workers could benefit from getting involved, please let us know. If you want to discuss any of these, call NAED’s Ed Orlet at 636.448.6712 and he can fill you in on the details. Thanks for supporting NAED!


Maximizing the Value of Industry Events

A joint meeting of NAED members and staff was held in conjunction with executives from both AD and IMARK at the recent Eastern Region Conference in Austin, Texas. The topic was an attempt to answer:

Given that the industry is slowly returning to live meetings from the pandemic-inspired virtual model, is it appropriate to reassess the number of industry meetings, their scheduling, and increasing content overlap between several of these events?

The overwhelming view of the attendees is that this is the time to conduct this assessment. The group also believes that this assessment can address underserved constituencies and reduce the content overlap between meetings. The largest takeaway from the discussion was that the assessment must gather input from a much wider group that is very invested in the industry’s future. In addition, the research and recommendations should be conducted with fresh eyes unencumbered with history.

This group will be asked to conduct research independently and present a recommended path forward to the working group at the South-Central Region Conference meeting in February. The output of that presentation and subsequent discussion will be posted on NAED’s website for member input, with the ultimate goal of publishing the path with a transition timeline that will likely take several years given the long-term nature of meeting facility contracts already in existence.


Design an Industry “Early Warning System”

NAED members face a time of unprecedented rapid change. We need strategies to enable digital transformation, e-commerce, automation, and more, while at the same time dealing with challenges including the COVID pandemic impact on business, worker shortages, supply chain disruption, emerging platform businesses, etc. This project will design an “early warning system” to seek out and communicate emerging and over-the-horizon threats and opportunities for distributors, analyze implications, and engage NAED members to strengthen a culture of action, ideas, and innovation. This task force will:

  • Develop a statement of benefits and program elements to share with members – tell us why this matters and “what’s in it for me”
  • Identify threats and opportunities unique to members by business focus, size, etc. (e.g., industrial vs. construction, etc.)
  • Identify categories of best practices, innovations, opportunities, and threats to guide monitoring, reporting, and analysis
  • Create plans for engaging and encouraging involvement of members as business leadership, next-generation leaders, individuals with innovation responsibilities, etc.
  • Plan and launch a pilot program to test plans and make refinements


The Future of Supplier Go-to-Market (G2M) Strategies

Suppliers are facing unprecedented opportunities and challenges given digital transformation, supply chain operations, worker shortages, and more. The long-standing partnership between manufacturers and distributors is under stress as both business models are evolving more rapidly and significantly than in the past. This project will explore go-to-market options for suppliers from a position of acting for their own interest, and potential distributor evolutions as partners for achieving supplier business objectives, serving customers, and new value creation. The goal of this work is to help distributors evolve in a way that preserves our position as the channel of choice for manufacturers. This task force will:

  • Create a baseline of traditional manufacturer priorities for go-to-market objectives and options
  • Identify go to market opportunities and challenges including current crises and a longer-term horizon
  • Explore new technologies, capabilities, innovations, etc. for modernizing manufacturer go to market methods and optimizing results
  • Define impact of go to market options on end-customer experiences and business results
  • Suggest changes to the traditional manufacturer/distributor partnership around roles and responsibilities, core capabilities, performance monitoring, supplier channel management and compensation methods, programs, and policies, etc.
  • Set benchmarks for distributor performance to measure progress


Strive Towards Three “C’s” of Product Data

Data, in all its forms, is the cornerstone of digital transformation. This includes product data—a source of frustration as distributors must often modify data to make it usable. As the industry looks for ways to reduce friction, we need to understand current practices and how they must evolve so product data meets the needs throughout the channel. NAED will form a group to tackle this critical issue. It will identify problems within the channel and develop ways to address them, leading to industry data that is consistent, compatible, and complete.


For more information on these efforts, contact NAED’s Ed Orlet at or 636.448.6712.

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