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 on September 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 (ISA - www.isapartners.org).
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.
The Industrial Supply Association is the leading association of the maintenance, repair, operations and production (MROP) supply chain.