Education is one of the North American Floor Covering Distributors’ four core pillars of value, noted Moe Desmarais, executive vice president, and is joined by leadership, networking and trends. “Strengthening the partnership between retailers and distributors is very important to NAFCD and its members, which is why the organization offers its members several opportunities for education.”
He pointed to four specific learning opportunities:
- AEA Webinars and seminars. NAFCD is a member of the Association Educational Alliance, which offers affordable educational products and programs for its members including Webinars from top distribution industry experts. “The vision of the AEA is to identify, evaluate and develop educational products and programs for use by member associations as well as to facilitate networking and idea sharing among AEA members,” he explained.
- University of Industrial Distribution. UID is the industry’s premier distribution-specific education program, Desmarais said. Presented by NAFCD and other leading industry trade associations, UID lets participants select from courses with topics such as: distribution marketing; branch management; sales and sales management; value-added selling; business leadership; distribution profitability; consumer psychographics, and channel alignment. He added, UID participants earn credits toward their certificate in Industrial Distribution, provided by Purdue University upon the completion of 90 hours (9 CEUs) of qualified educational instruction.
- Annual convention. “NAFCD’s annual conference offers an abundance of educational opportunities, including networking events, motivational speakers, industry experts and more,” Desmarais said. Highlights include the Distributor Marketplace, roundtables and industry panels. This year, he added, NAFCD is co-sponsoring a convention with the North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) to offer three days of relationship-building and education. The joint event will be held Nov. 16 to18 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will feature “a unique blend of networking functions, distribution management education, exhibits and business-to-business appointments. Uniting into one event builds upon existing synergy between NAFCD and NBMDA.”
- Sales seminars. Members have access to seminars and Webinars on sales training, transforming sales, gaining market share and much more at discounted rates through Dave Kahle. Desmarais called Kahle “an energetic, high-content speaker, with a special gift for engaging his audiences and stimulating people to think.”
To learn more about these and other NAFCD educational opportunities, call 312.321.6836 or visit its website, nafcd.org. Keep your eyes peeled for columns by the NAFCD, called Distributors’ Perspective once a month.