You may rep pipe and wire. A cross-town agency sells semiconductors. You may have never met, but you have very similar concerns when it comes to operating a profitable rep agency.

NEMRA, MANA, a trade association for a diverse group of products in the industrial, commercial and retail markets, and ERA, which focuses on the electronics market, will address those concerns at The Representative Summit Conference, Keystone 2003, to be held Sept. 10-13 at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley (near Tampa), Fla.

In a letter to NEMRA members, Samuel Johnson, this year's NEMRA chairman and principal of Electra-Tek Carolinas Inc., Greensboro, N.C., said Keystone 2003 will address the needs of the professional manufacturers' rep in the following areas:

  • Compensation plans — new and different ways to compensate and motivate employees.

  • Merging, buying or selling a rep firm.

  • Going to market with offshore principals.

  • Evaluating the profitability of your line card.

  • Integrating technology into your rep firm.

  • Making money with missionary lines.

“It's the ideal opportunity for representatives from the electrical industry to meet with, learn from and communicate with their counterparts from other industries,” says Johnson. “When I think of the potential to be gained from other industries' best practices, my feeling is the cost of this conference will pay for itself. There is the question of incurring the cost of attending this conference in these lean economic times, but I believe this is the absolute best time to be making this kind of investment in our respective futures.”

Registration for Keystone 2003 costs $495 and includes two full days of programming, all materials and many food-service functions. For more information, contact NEMRA at 914-524-8650, or by e-mail at nemra@nemra.org.