What two or three issues did your Council identify as currently being the most pressing for HARDI distributors/the industry?
- Shaping the value of the Controls Council in the business decisions of our suppliers.
- Understanding the profitability of our market segment.
- Encouraging nonisolation status by our suppliers in HARDI by contributions to industry education specific to the needs of controls specialists.
What actions has your Council decided to take regarding these issues?
- Develop a vendor-assessment tool to offer our suppliers a proactive but unsolicited “Voice of the Customer” to help create more meaningful partnerships. This was accomplished and presented in fall 2007 as an early benchmark.
- The Council unanimously agreed that if the HARDI Annual Profit Report broke out Controls Distributors separately with greater specificity, more controls distributors would participate. The Council will pursue any changes that will drive participation.
- During the liaison meetings, the Council approached vendors with this goal of cooperation, with training modules posted on HARDI's website for the good of the industry. One vendor agreed to participate, and another is in the final phases of development with the intent to make their training available.
What is the outcome your Council is seeking regarding these issues?
- Review (and refine, if necessary) the vendor-assessment tool, assign weighting so suppliers can prioritize actions.
- Recommend (by this report) that HARDI specifically solicit participation in PAR by controls specialists.
- Seek a more meaningful partnership and ongoing dialog with our suppliers who want two-way, mutually profitable relationships.
What are the most important things you would urge distributors who were not at your meeting to do to address these issues?
- Respond every time — and promptly — when asked by a liaison chair for participation and input. Having full participation is what best validates the data offered by the vendor-assessment tool.
- Decide to participate in PAR — and understand the reasons why.
- Participate in training through the HARDI gateway.
When will your Council next meet either in person or by phone to discuss any of these issues?
- Deliver a follow-up e-mail to go out to all Controls Council participants and others of record within 30 days with a report on this conference.
- Encourage a liaison committee to dynamically exist throughout the year to discuss these issues.
- Offer support and encouragement for involvement of liaison committee chairs when broader issues (good or bad) could benefit from a stronger voice.