Associates and Retailers
Like the old Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder hit, “Ebony
and Ivory,” our industry has a duality that lives together in
perfect harmony: associates and retailers. The dynamic in
our industry between associate members providing products
to our retail members represents an eternal challenge much
like cats and dogs, peanut butter and chocolate, Bogart and
Bacall, or man versus nature.
As such, one of NRLA’s many purposes is to act as a me-
diator and/or facilitator to bring these
two groups of business entities together
and help them be as successful as possi-
ble in their endeavors no matter the eco-
nomic conditions.
This mission starts by maintaining a
thriving base of retail and associate mem-
bers, then hosting well-run, well-attended
education events, offering communication
vehicles that are both well-read and in-
formative with advertising programs that offer associates the
opportunity to have their products seen and inquired about
by retailers, a leading tradeshow where all products of around
200 associates can be seen by thousands of buyers, topnotch
legislative and regulatory efforts where both associates and
retailers lobby on behalf of the LBM industry, a full menu of
member services for all members, and so much more.
Sure, we are the Northeastern RETAIL Lumber Associa-
tion, but associate members have an equally important place
in the day-to-day activities of the NRLA. We can’t do anything
for one side of the membership without wondering how to
weave the other half into the mix. We can’t call a golf outing
a success if we don’t have enough retail members in atten-
dance for the associate members to mingle with. We can’t
boast of another great LBM Expo, if there aren’t enough
quality contacts walking the floor and visiting booths. Like-
wise, we can’t sell
Weekly Wired
as a high leverage advertis-
ing opportunity if we don’t have enough retailers opening
the e-newsletter and clicking on the ads.
At NRLA, we know how important it is to have the right
parties at the table. This is a major reason why the publica-
tions & marketing department is morphing into the com-
munications & PR department. It will allow us to focus even
more on disseminating the real-time information that all our
members need to succeed, while opening up new avenues
of outreach for associate members. We will be more flexible,
nimble, and relevant with our offerings; give the associate
members more of a voice; and create an even greater sense
of a win-win for all involved.
But, like all that NRLA does for its members, we’re going
to need your participation for this plan to succeed. First off,
you’re going to have to start embracing mobile technologies
and social media even more than you already do. NRLA’s com-
munications & PR department is going to be much more active
and targeted on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and will be
starting up a Twitter account and blog. We will be revamping
our website so that it will be the information hub for the in-
dustry. We’ll also be unveiling an e-newsletter focused on the
news and new products on the associate side of the business.
These are all programs that will work well at desk work-
stations and on the go via mobile platforms, but either way
you will have to be up to date with your technology offerings
to get all this information when you need it.
There’s a lot coming down the pike, and you won’t want
to miss it. Keep reading the
Lumber Co-operator
, our Facebook and LinkedIn updates, your state and
local newsletters, and anything else you can get your hands
on. You just never know where you might pick up a piece of
information that you can use to improve the way you’re doing
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