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ISMA president Ray Reynertson and I.D.A. president Jim Beckstein said the task force is recommending the merger because American manufacturing is under siege and the pressure to reduce costs has never been greater.
"We have a unique opportunity to use the merged strength of I.D.A. and ISMA, working in unison, to streamline the supply chain, reducing costs for the MROP user. We recognized that the needed level of cooperation and singular focus was hampered by separate distributor and manufacturer organizations, both concentrating on the welfare of their respective membership, but not necessarily addressing the overall needs of the channel," Reynertson said.
Beckstein added: "The free flow of communication within the new organization will facilitate our members' understanding of the needs and concerns of both distributors and manufacturers, reducing channel conflict and fostering the cooperation required to succeed in meeting the needs of the MROP end users. The entire channel will benefit by reducing costs for our end users, helping them compete in this very difficult business environment."
The task force envisions an MROP industry-wide event to bring together other MROP associations, buying groups, MROP stakeholders and end users, and developing closer relationships with other MROP associations to act jointly on issues affecting the MROP industry.
Under the task force recommendation, the combined organization would be governed by a 12-member board of directors that includes four officers, with equal manufacturer and distributor representation.
Board members would serve staggered three-year terms, and committees and task forces would be aligned directly with core program areas.
The new organization would have one regular membership category for manufacturers and distributors. Manufacturer's representatives would be classified as associate members while other MROP stakeholders and service providers would be considered affiliate members. The current memberships dues structure for the two organizations would be maintained.
A new name for the combined organization has yet to be selected.
The task force also recommends continuing the following mission-critical activities:
ﾕ Conventions and forums for member interaction and education.
ﾕ Gathering and disseminating critical information, including industry data, research, trend analysis and operating metrics.
ﾕ Publishing the annual membership directory.
ﾕ Developing and implementing channel performance initiatives, including e-commerce, standards, industry advocacy and education.