Home » NIRA Ceases Operations, Partners with ISA to Serve Industrial Reps
NIRA Ceases Operations, Partners with ISA to Serve Industrial Reps
September 15, 2005
Members of the Northamerican Industrial Representatives Association (NIRA) recently voted to support the recommendations of its board of directors to discontinue operations as an industry trade association. At a meeting of members held Sept. 9, the membership approved the board's resolutions to dissolve NIRA, in conjunction with a negotiated package of services to be provided to NIRA members by the Industrial Supply Association.
The actions were based on the board's determination that NIRA's future potential to adequately serve its member rep firms and manufacturers had become untenable. It was deemed that the interests of its rep firm members would be better served through an alignment with ISA, the industrial product industry's key trade association, under the condition that ISA would commit to expanding benefits and voting privileges for its Associate (rep firm) members.
In 2001, NIRA forged a relationship with ISA's predecessor manufacturer association, ISMA, allowing, for the first time, membership in ISMA for manufacturer rep firms, if they were also NIRA members. This action was significant in positioning reps to participate fully as ISMA members, allowing them to engage industrial product manufacturers and distributors at the ISMA/IDA conventions.
When ISMA and IDA merged last year to form ISA, NIRA continued to negotiate with ISA's leadership to forge a beneficial relationship for its rep members. The resulting agreements, signed in late August, position ISA to: extend full membership voting privileges to ISA rep members; add a voting rep member to ISA's Board of Directors; create an ISA Rep Committee to oversee program and policy matters; become fully engaged in providing programs to serve rep interests; participate actively in programs, trade shows and activities addressing the interests of NIRA's industrial safety product reps; and, include opportunities for rep exhibit booth programs at ISA conventions. NIRA likewise agreed to discontinue operations as a trade association and to recommend that its members transfer their membership to ISA.
According to NIRA President, David Turpin, Turpin Sales & Marketing, Inc., West Springfield, MA, "The NIRA Board felt that allying with ISA would position NIRA members for maximum future success, while empowering professional rep firms to have an active, voting role in the future of ISA.
With our members' recent vote in support of that plan, we are now ready to work closely with ISA to address the needs of professional rep firms serving the industrial marketplace." Turpin further noted, "NIRA also strongly encourages each of our rep member firms to maintain active membership in the Manufacturers' Agents National Association (MANA - www.manaonline.org) in order to support their efforts in promoting the role of independent, professional sales representatives."
"NIRA is indebted to its founders, past leaders and current board members for their efforts and commitment in promoting the function and value of the professional industrial sales rep," noted John Pittman, NIRA chairman and president of Pittman Industrial Marketing, Inc., Birmingham, AL. "NIRA rep firms have set the professional benchmark for our industry and we are delighted that the ISA is now ready to recognize our members as key elements of the industrial supply channel. NIRA is also indebted to our staff team at Thompson Management Associates, LLC, Annapolis, MD for their dedication and tireless efforts in working to craft the agreement with ISA and for their professional guidance and management support during this transition," Pittman added.
The Industrial Supply Association is the leading association of the maintenance, repair, operations and production (MROP) supply