The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis, has approved a change in its organization that would allow a manufacturer to be selected to sit on the NAED board.
As part of the change, NAED has approved changes in its dues structure and in manufacturer registration fees. The association will charge electrical manufacturers dues based on their sales volumes and reduce their conference registration fees. NAED plans to announce details of the plan in March, according to Sonia Crites, the association’s director of public relations. Crites said NAED would contact each manufacturer next month on the changes.
Tom Naber, president of NAED and publisher of TED Magazine, said while the exact dollars figures for the new manufacturers’ dues and reduced registration fees are not yet finalized, the association wants the end result to be that it’s a “break-even proposition” for manufacturers, or ends up costing them slightly less to attend meetings. The goal, he said, is to encourage manufacturers to bring more people to the meetings, and for them to get more involved in the association.
“We’ve had to raise our registration fees for manufacturers for the last few years quite a bit,” said Crites. “That’s one of the concerns a lot of smaller manufacturers had. Also, when we decided we wanted to start tackling some of the industry issues, such as special pricing authorizations (SPAs) and lighting practices, we realized how critical manufacturers were to that process.”
Crites said manufacturers already participate in many NAED committees, and that the association hopes that by giving manufacturers one seat on the NAED board, they would have more say in the association and help make the electrical distribution channel more efficient.
NAED’s Naber said the goal is to help make the electrical distribution channel more profitable and successful.
“We believe that we can do this better by fostering cooperation and manufacturer involvement rather than by pushing them away,” he said. “We are making official what is already reality. Look at the whole SPA process, it involves both manufacturers and distributors for everyone’s benefit.”
Bob Smith, who serves on NAED’s manufacturers’ advisory council, applauds NAED’s move. “I think we hit all legs of the stool communicating,” he said. “I think it opens up the NAED board to more ideas and input. NAED and the manufacturers are on a path to work closer. This is one step that will make us part of the team, and I think you’ll see this develop as time progresses.”