By Anthony Capkun
March 11, 2016 – “Our members have talked about problems with the POS/POT process for a long time, and many feel that as much as 10-20% of their earned income is impacted by poor POS/POT reporting procedures,” said Ken Hooper, president of the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Assoc. (U.S.). So what is NEMRA doing about it?
NEMRA reports that its recent annual conference, 17 electrical manufacturers endorsed proposed reporting formats for point-of-sale/-transfer (POS/POT) reports submitted by distributors to manufacturers, and supplied to manufacturer reps by their manufacturers.
Among NEMRA’s membership are members of CEMRA, the Canadian Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association.
According to a few attendees at the annual meeting:
“These are the types of initiatives that help us be more efficient and productive.”
“This will help us better administer our POS/POT information and manage our commissions.”
“Easily understood and presented information will help us better support distributors that have RDCs and CDCs (distribution centres), it provides more transparency.”
“A common format just makes sense.”
The endorsing companies are American Polywater, CRC, Electri-Flex, Halex, General Cable, Ilsco, King Electric, Legrand, Leviton, Lighting Efficient Design, Littelfuse, Minerallac, Morris Products, Northern Cables, Orbit Industries, RAB Lighting and Ventamatic.
“The research clearly documented that many reps will direct business to distributors from whom they know they will be paid. Working with our manufacturers committee, it was decided to address the issue and to make it more equitable and efficient for all,” added Hooper.
The reporting standard, which integrates 15 core reporting fields, is the first deliverable from NEMRA’s State of the POS/POT study released last year. The report recommended a task force consisting of manufacturers and reps be formed to help streamline reporting and improve the overall process, with the objective of ensuring reps are appropriately compensated, and that complete field support is provided to distributors that provide accurate POS/POT reports.
As part of this initiative, NEMRA has engaged with the five national chains who have pledged their support in improving the process.
NEMRA says the major benefit of this initial standard, which focuses on non-commodity items, is to standardize the report format, resulting in the same columns being reported in the same order for multiple manufacturers. Additional information agreed upon between a distributor and a manufacturer would be placed to the right of the first 15 columns.
Additionally, the term “point-of-sale” for most manufacturers has been refined to “place-of-sale”, as this supports the need for appropriate compensation reporting. Customer-level information is left to the discretion of the distributor/manufacturer relationship.
A number of best practices are shared in the document, says NEMRA, and recommendations to address commodity product reporting are planned for later this year.
This industry initiative is open to all manufacturers, regardless of whether they go to market through reps, direct salespeople or lighting agents, as it is designed to streamline processes for all channel members. There is no cost to adopt the standard.
NEMRA is currently soliciting comments on these standards through March 31, 2016. To receive a copy of the standards and to endorse them, email:
• Ken Hooper at email@example.com or
• David Gordon, NEMRA POS/POT project facilitator, at firstname.lastname@example.org