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Illustration_60886103 / Kheng To To / Dreamstime
Iillustration_60886103 / Kheng Ho To / Dreamstime
Illustration 60886103 / Kheng Ho To / Dreamstime

Graybar Agrees to Form NEMRA Rep Council

Aug. 29, 2003
Graybar Electric Co., St. Louis, has agreed to form a NEMRA rep council that will have a voice at the highest levels of the company’s senior management.

Graybar Electric Co., St. Louis, has agreed to form a NEMRA rep council that will have a voice at the highest levels of the company’s senior management.

According to Henry P. Bergson, president, National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA), Tarrytown, N.Y., formation of the rep council resulted from a meeting between members of NEMRA and executives of the distributorship. At the meeting, Graybar and NEMRA members reached agreement on several other areas of mutual concern, including the impact of Graybar’s regional distribution centers (RDCs) on reps; issues related to inventory stock transfer, POS and point-of-purchase (POP) processes; the importance of NEMRA and Graybar working closely together in order to reduce costs in the channel; a desire to solicit Graybar’s help in terms of assisting electrical manufacturers in solving major issues confronting the industry; and the role of Graybar’s centralized purchase order system, and a clarification that purchasing and pricing authority would remain local with the Graybar districts.

In addition to Bergson, NEMRA-member participants in the meeting were Chris Brazill, Brazill Brothers & Associates Inc. Metuchen, N.J.; John Greenwald, I-Pro Inc. Denver; and Ron Haedt, Electrorep Inc., Sausalito, Calif.

Graybar was represented by Bob Reynolds, president and CEO; Chuck Udell, senior vice president, electrical business; Dick Offenbach, senior vice president, communication/data; Bruce Judkins, vice president, electrical marketing; and Alan Eddings, vice president, communication/data products.

Two of the NEMRA participants at the meeting were quick to praise the efforts of the distributor and the association.

“This is all about Graybar saying they are going to lead the charge so everyone will understand the issues of inventory stock transfer and the importance of accurate, timely POS and POP data,” said Haedt. “Graybar is putting their name right out in front so other distributors can be alerted that the failure to provide such data may be costing them money in the long run.”

Haedt, a former NEMRA chairman, said the dialog will continue in the Graybar rep council. “I applaud Graybar for taking this significant step forward and leading the charge to develop a system that all the majors can use. The crux of the entire discussion is that Graybar recognizes the value of the rep in the field. Failure to show accurate data can cause failure of the rep to be paid for his efforts. Graybar understands the importance of this data and the role of the rep.”

While his agency doesn’t deal much with Graybar in its international markets, John O’Donnell, principal, Electro- Mechanical Systems International (EMSI), Philadelphia, applauded NEMRA for taking action.

“I think the dialog between the two is the most creative step I’ve seen in my more than 20 years as a member of the association,” said O’Donnell. “It’s a great idea to ask the distributor to consider the rep in his policies, especially as it applies to RDCs and headquarters buying practices.”