Transforming the Rep Industry (Part 2)

by Charles Cohon, President and CEO, MANA

Celebrating MANA’s 75th anniversary last year led me to reflect on how MANA has transformed how reps and principals work together.

Part one of this series started to look at ways MANA has changed the rep industry just since I became MANA’s CEO and president in 2011. Part two looks at more ways MANA has changed the rep industry since 2011.

Strategic Partnerships

Our strategic partnerships mean that all rep members of these associations are also MANA members:

  • Association of Independent Manufacturers’ Representatives
  • Canadian Electrical Manufacturers’ Representatives Association
  • Industrial Supply Association
  • Health Industry Representatives Association
  • Heavy Duty Manufacturers’ Representatives’ Council
  • International Housewares Association
  • Power-motion Technology Representatives Association
  • National Marine Representatives Association

Extended Post-Termination Commission

MANA’s educational activities have noticeably moved the needle on “standard” 30-day termination clauses by:

  • Helping reps learn to articulate why 30-day termination clauses often are unfair.
  • Helping reps learn to negotiate extended post-termination commission and life-of-part, life-of-program clauses.
  • Helping manufacturers understand that 30-day termination clauses are no longer automatically part of rep agreements.

Line Card Profitability Analysis

A decade ago, most reps I spoke to felt that “any income is good income.” Educational programs from MANA and MRERF have helped line card profitability analysis gain credence, so reps can identify and exit relationships that cost more to service than the income they generate.

International Connections

In 2011 MANA only had visibility to rep practices in the U.S. and Canada. Through the Internationally United Commercial Agents and Brokers (IUCAB), MANA is connected with its rep association counterparts in 17 European countries, Peru, and the Republic of Congo.

Thank you to current and past MANA Boards of Directors for the support and insight that helped MANA transform rep-principal relationships and set the stage for continued transformation of our industry.

Charles Cohon, CPMR, is CEO and president of MANA. In 2016 Cohon earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation after completing American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) coursework and testing. Cohon also earned an MBA with honors and with concentrations in strategic management and entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and was founder and owner of a very successful Illinois manufacturers’ representative firm for nearly 30 years before joining MANA.

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