The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis, and the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA), Tarrytown, N.Y., have jointly released a white paper on “Recommended Best Practices in Point of Sale (POS)/Point of Transfer (POT) Data Collection.”

Created by the POS/POT task force, the white paper answers an industry need for specific guidelines in the compilation and sharing of this crucial information among channel partners.

POS data encompasses end-customer transactions, while POT data focuses on the transfer of products within a company. It's the primary method to compensate manufacturers' representatives for the sales support they provide to the distributor, and the data can be valuable in marketing and sales growth strategy. The purpose of the white paper is to make the collection process more efficient and reduce costs for all parties involved.

The paper recommends these best practices:

  • Standardize industry terminology for POS/POT.

  • Develop awareness of what distributors and manufacturers can provide in return for POS/POT data.

  • Standardize formats for the collection of POS/POT data across the industry.



The POS/POT effort began after a comprehensive survey was released to NAED membership in 2004. A joint task force was then created by NAED, consisting of NAED distributors, electrical manufacturers and a NEMRA electrical manufacturers' representative. The POS/POT task force is led by chairpersons Bob Smith of Pass & Seymour/Legrand and Dick Offenbacher, senior vice president of Graybar.

“Our ability to excel as an industry is not measured by sales and marketing prowess alone,” said Smith. “To go to the next level, we must also improve our transactional efficiency and eliminate unnecessary activities, as well as wring cost out of the channel. POS/POT is an industry initiative that will do just that.”

The POS/POT Recommended Best Practice Guidelines are available at no charge via NAED's Web site at www.naed.org. The white paper can also be accessed by contacting NEMRA via e-mail at nemra@nemra.org.