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.

A NEMRA participant at the meeting was 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 Ron Haedt, Electrorep Inc., Sausalito, Calif.

“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 would continue in the Graybar rep council. “I applaud Graybar for taking this significant step forward and leading the charge to develop this system. 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.”