For almost four decades AIM/R has looked at itself with justifiable pride as the education and advocacy hub for independent manufacturers reps in the PHCP industry. After almost a decade of fierce debate within the organization about whether to allow manufacturers to attend its annual conference, a “yes” verdict was reached several years ago. Its 38th Annual Conference, held March 17-20 in Las Vegas, laid to rest any lingering doubts whether it was the right decision.
A growing number of manufacturers have found the conference worthwhile attending and their participation has paid off in tangible ways. Programming at the Las Vegas event was highlighted by sessions on four topics jointly developed by an AIM/R Manufacturer Advisory Committee (MAC) charged with defining subjects of mutual interest. The hot topics chosen were:
- Transitioning Manufacturer
Relationships for Succession;
- Surviving the Economic Downturn
of the Past Year;
- Best Rep Practices for
Communication and Promotion of Products;
- Shifting the Marketing & Customer Service Function to Reps.
For instance, Sileo noted that 13% of identity theft occurs when someone in a retail establishment skims credit card information. A simple prevention measure is to tape a note to the front and back of credit cards asking that proprietors ask for a photo ID before accepting them. According to Sileo, 95% of retailers will oblige. He also alerted AIM/R members to a phone number to call, 1-888-5OPTOUT, which prevents anyone from establishing credit in your name.
- Succession Planning Within Your Agency;
- Taxes & the Obama Administration;
- HSAs and the Obama Health Care Program;
- How to Survive an IRS Audit;
- What Happens When a Customer or Principal Goes Bankrupt;
- How to Screen Salespeople Before Hiring;
- Warehousing: Buy/Sell, Consignment & Commission Sales Pros &
- Increasing Productivity Through a Paperless Office.
The latter was a breakout session sponsored by AIM/R’s energetic LOT (Leaders of Tomorrow) group, consisting of young agency principals and heirs.
AIM/R announced that its 2011 conference will shift from spring to a fall date. The spring conference has become increasingly hard to schedule due to conflicts with numerous trade shows, buying group meetings and other industry events taking place at that time of year.
The 2010 Conference concluded with the annual volleyball tournament sponsored bySupply House Times. For more about this year’s AIM/R Conference, read my “In Closing” column.