MRC - Looking for a Better Way

SEMA Member News - May/June 2009

Growing Out of the Recession

By Joel Rosenthal

SEMA News-May 2009-MRC

The SEMA MRC will host its eighth annual Interactive Town Hall Meeting at the PWA conference on Tuesday, September 15. Last year, more than 120 specialty-equipment market professionals participated.


My 11-year-old daughter Kati Hope was looking for the Jiffy peanut butter the other day. I told her it was in the pantry. She told me that she had looked but it wasn’t there. I went and found it (quite a rarity at our house). The peanut butter was in plain sight, but she had been looking for a jar, so she entirely missed the new 2-oz. “Jif To-Go” individual packages.

Newsmen, politicians, manufacturers, warehouse owners, retailers and reps are all looking for the pathway out of this current economic slump. Just as Kati Hope missed the peanut butter that was in plain sight, many business managers may be looking for the wrong answers. Some are looking to cut expenses, trim budgets and eliminate services. How many businesses are looking for ways to grow their way out of this economic slump? Cutting costs is a natural reaction at times like these, however, cutting alone is not the only way out of an economic crisis. We must grow our way out!

Almost a century ago, parts manufacturers were suffering through tight economic conditions. They began to look to multiline agents to cut sales costs and maximize efficiencies. Manufacturers’ representatives became the answer for factories then, and we are the avenue to grow the way out of these economic times. The industry needs the rep segment now more then ever. Reps will remain sharp by strategically adding services that produce growth, promoting sales in new market segments and assisting manufacturers and customers to look for the “Jif To-Go” instead of the same old jar of peanut butter.

And the Award Goes to...

The Manufacturers’ Rep Council will be presenting council awards during the upcoming SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Sales Team Annual Recognition (STAR) award honors a manufacturer’s sales team that meets strict criteria set forth by the MRC. The MRC Hall of Fame honors an individual rep who has contributed to the professionalism, integrity and growth of the manufacturers’ rep segment.

SEMA News-May 2009-MRC
Flanked by SEMA CEO and President Chris Kersting (left) and SEMA Chairman of the Board Jim Cozzie (right), Bill Wagner accepted the MRC’s 2008 Sales Team Annual Recognition award on behalf of Husky Liners. The award recognizes a manufacturer and its sales team for its business performance, professionalism, product training, updates and more.

The STAR Award, previously known as the Outstanding Manufacturers’ Sales Team of the Year Award, recognizes a manufacturer and its sales team for business performance in terms of professionalism, product training, updates and more. The winning team will have demonstrated professional dealings with manufacturers’ representatives, provided timely and accurate updates on products and company policies, introduced new products and will have updated products as demand warrants. The team will also have participated with representatives in fieldwork, making sales calls when necessary and asking for and evaluating feedback from manufacturers’ representatives on competitive activity and customer comments.

The MRC Hall of Fame honors individuals whose contributions, dedication, dignity and/or general stature have helped to enhance the rep industry as a whole. Candidates must have been involved in the industry for a minimum of 10 years. A contribution to SEMA and the MRC are important considerations for nomination, but the leadership of the council may select an individual who has not had a close association with SEMA and/or MRC. New members may not necessarily be inducted each year into the MRC Hall of Fame, but the honor will be bestowed upon a viable candidate as he/she is nominated and selected.

MRC members are invited to submit nominations for the STAR award and potential inductees to the MRC Hall of Fame. Nomination forms will be mailed to MRC members at large in July.

For additional information about the STAR award or the MRC Hall of Fame, contact council liaison Staci Bostock via e-mail.


MRC Town Hall Meeting at PWA

Save the date! Tuesday September 15, 2009. The SEMA MRC will be hosting its eighth annual Interactive Town Hall Meeting at the PWA conference. Every year, we bring in industry professionals who unpack time-sensitive subjects that pierce the thought process of business today. Last year, more than 120 specialty-equipment market professionals participated.

Manufacturers, manufacturers’ reps and warehouse distributors, please join us for an evening filled with lively discussion and debate, networking and refreshments. Seating is limited, so register early.