What If MANA Didn’t Exist?

by Charles Cohon, President and CEO, MANA

What would the world of manufacturers’ reps look like if MANA did not exist?

Without MANA: What Do You Mean, Market Development Fee?

MANA championed Market Development Fees (MDF) so that manufacturers without existing sales in a territory can get the attention of high-powered rep firms whose customers trust them enough to take their recommendation and buy an unfamiliar brand.

A decade ago, pioneering lines couldn’t hire the reps they wanted, and reps who took on pioneering lines often worked for free until orders started to flow.

Thanks to MANA, most reps considering a pioneering line know to ask for MDF, and many manufacturers offering pioneering lines expect to include MDF in their contracts.

Without MANA: Decades of Service, 30-Day Notice in Rep Contracts

MANA’s educational activities have helped reps learn to articulate why 30-day termination clauses often are unfair and helped manufacturers to understand that 30-day termination clauses are no longer automatically part of rep agreements.

Without MANA: Any Income is Good Income

Educational programs from MANA and MRERF have helped Line Card Profitability Analysis gain credibility so that reps can identify and exit relationships that cost more to service than the income they generate.

Without MANA: Rudimentary Rep Search

Manufacturers made it clear — they join MANA to find reps. Reps made it clear — they join MANA to be found by manufacturers. So MANA created the industry-leading platform for connecting representatives and manufacturers. Our RepFinder® 3.0 smartphone app and browser-based RepFinder® are a decade ahead of any other rep search platform on the Internet.

After a dozen years as MANA’s CEO and president, I am humbled by the ways MANA’s Board of Directors has guided the evolution of our industry and MANA’s staff has executed the Board’s vision.

What would the world of manufacturers’ reps look like if MANA did not exist? You don’t even want to think about it!

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.