About 50 manufacturers attended the meeting, which was aimed at getting feedback on current strategies while also looking at possible topics for the future that will strengthen the supply chain. A key part of the meeting was aligning the manufacturers with NAED’s strategic plan for distributors, and finding a way to make the plan remain successful.
“We need to identify what we can piggy back on to make these initiatives work together,” Don Spurgin, Vice President, Sales Development for Encore Wire. Spurgin just completed his term as NAED Manufacturer’s Council Chair, but will remain on the council as a past chair for the next year.
The NAED strategic plan has four key components, and the council wants to work on programs that fit in with the strategy. The components are:
- Training a successful workforce.
- Bringing together the best minds in the industry to solve common problems.
- Building appreciation of our members’ value.
- Clearly articulating our value becoming more accessible to members.
- Working closely with the NAED Regional Councils to help with their agendas, and make their efforts successful when it includes the help from manufacturer partnerships.
- Compiling notes and sending out notifications on how the council is moving forward with the NAED topics that fit the NAED Strategic Plan.
Spurgin believes more manufacturers can take advantage of the training programs NAED offers. “I honestly did not realize all of the things NAED was doing. It opened my eyes. We really weren’t taking advantage of the things NAED is already providing,” Spurgin told the crowd.
Manufacturers who attended the town hall meeting also said they would like to see a program to help arrange meetings at NAED regional conferences. “As manufacturers, if that is something in the best interest, we will pursue that,” Rick Angel, Sr. Vice President, Lutron Electronics and member of the NAED Board of Directors said.
Comments at the town hall meeting included ways to keep NEMRA and the manufacturer’s reps in the process of moving forward with the strategic plan. “The whole data area, if they would want to work more closely with the board on the POS/POT program. There are a lot of parts to that. We can circle the wagons and work much more closely with the manufacturer’s council on that,” Ken Hooper, NEMRA President told the crowd. Hooper reports that about 36 manufacturers and some of the larger distributors are on board with the POS/POT program.
The Manufacturer’s Council will also continue its work to recruit and retain people to our supply chain. “People really don’t understand what we do. We build all the buildings, all the stadiums, all of the skyscrapers. We do really cool things. We have outlined some things that will bring together how we do things and what we do. Just drawing interest to the business would benefit us all,” Spurgin added.
Other attendees at the town hall meeting would like more assurance that the product data they supply appears correctly on distributor websites, and a mentorship program where new members of NAED would have someone to guide them through their first NAED regional meetings.
The NAED Manufacturer’s Council would like to hold these town hall style meetings at every NAED regional conference. If you have any topics you would like to discuss, or if you have some ideas for the council, you can contact new chair Ton Fredericks of American Polywater at firstname.lastname@example.org, or incoming chair Jason Hill of Hellerman Tyton at email@example.com.
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