Leading wholesaler-distributors depend on NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence groundbreaking research studies because they help solve real-world business challenges.




Order copies of Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of Disruption for everyone on your team!


NAW News

"Associations Don't Usually Earn These Marks" - But NAW Did

NAW Chairman's Column - November 2007

Raymon A. York
2007 NAW Chairman of the Board

Remember Ed Koch?

For those who don’t, Ed Koch served in the U.S. Congress in the 1960s and, much more memorably, as Mayor of New York City in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Throughout his three terms at Gracie Mansion, Republicans and Democrats found common ground in their assessment that His Honor was, if nothing else, quite a character.

Mayor Koch was known for constantly asking, “How’m I doin’?” at press conferences and in encounters with citizens on the streets of the Big Apple. As you can imagine, he got lots of frank, unvarnished feedback from New Yorkers—some good, some bad, not much in between—and he used that feedback to shape his policies and his image.

At NAW, we regularly ask the industry what we affectionately call “the Ed Koch Question.” We do it on a special member survey to find out how we’re doing as an organization—representing you before the federal government, creating wholesale distribution-centric management studies, setting up industry networking opportunities, and providing group purchasing programs.

Under the aegis of an independent consultant, we’ve asked our members the Ed Koch Question since the year 2000, including earlier this year. As your Chairman, I’m pleased to share a few top-line findings with you here.

In the government relations arena, 97% of NAW Company CEOs rated NAW’s efforts “highly effective” (the highest grade available). Our NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence trend reports and publications received a highly effective score of 96% from member CEOs. NAW networking and meetings: 91% highly effective. NAW communications: 95% highly effective.

Our consultant, Dr. Stevan Holmberg, President of Professional Management Research Group, summed up “how we’re doin’” rather succinctly by telling us: “Associations don’t usually earn these marks. But you did.” To read more about these survey findings, go to: http://www.naw.org/survey07.

We’re understandably proud of our success in serving you, but also mindful that the job is far from done. For example, another part of our survey probed for the key issues that keep our distributor members up at night. The top four are

• Human resources
• Health care costs
• Government regulation and taxes
• Margins and profitability.

NAW will continue working on your behalf on these and other important issues that confront the wholesale distribution industry. And we’ll continue to check with you regularly to ascertain “how we’re doin’.”

In the meantime, asking the Ed Koch Question isn’t limited only to the former mayor or to NAW. What could you learn if you asked it at your company and up and down your supply chain?