S.T.E.P. Training and Purchasing Information

28th Annual S.T.E.P. Purchasing – July 15-19, 2019

S.T.E.P. Purchasing provides a centralized location for manufacturers to introduce new products and programs into the distributor marketplace. Both NMDA and non-NMDA members may attend S.T.E.P., held annually. If you are not an NMDA member and would like attend, email us.

The event will be moving to the Embassy Suites by Hilton O’Hare (Rosemont), IL. The hotel, which was recently renovated, will be a great fit for our event. The hotel is near the Rosemont Entertainment District (home to a variety of restaurants & bars) and across the street from Gibson’s, Morton’s and many other fine restaurants.

Information about S.T.E.P. will be sent to distributors in April and to our manufacturing and manufacturers’ reps in late April or early May. Please do NOT book appointments early as the actual time slots for meetings have not been confirmed.

S.T.E.P. Purchasing 2018 Was a Success

We received so many great comments about S.T.E.P.  2018 and the value it delivers to all of our members. In addition to the meetings, we host cocktail receptions and other opportunities to network and share experiences.

NMDA tried some new things this year including a New Product Showcase in partnership with Soundings Trade Only. This event provided our manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their latest new products and our distributors and manufacturers’ reps, the first chance to see them. Nine companies participated in this FREE option: MATE USA, Power Products LLC, Uflex USA, Inc., Sea-Dog Line, Thetford Marine, Attwood Swivel-Eze, Taco Metals., Inc., SeaStar Solutions and Caframo Limited.  We are planning on doing the New Product Showcase next year and encourage more manufacturers to participate. We are grateful to Michele Goldsmith for the support we received from Soundings Trade Only for our NMDA S.T.E.P.  conference.

We also had a record number of 60 companies post banners in the hotel space to showcase their meeting rooms. The photo below shows only one wall of the banners.

Our Annual Meeting Speaker was Attorney Eugene F. Zelek, Jr., who discussed minimum resale price (MRP) and minimum advertised price (MAP) policies for the marine products. Due to the explosive growth of online sales in the marine products aftermarket there has been corrosive price competition among traditional sellers and those with lower costs of doing business. This leads to resale price erosion that jeopardizes brand value and reseller viability, causing resellers to pressure manufacturers to shore up reseller margins with more trade funds or otherwise address the problem. We have a link to that presentation on our Members Only page.

On Wednesday, we announced the Supplier of the Year Award Winners. Click here to see the full list.

S.T.E.P Training – Tentatively Scheduled for 2020

S.T.E.P. Training is NOT a purchasing event. S.T.E.P Training offers a unique event to learn about the features/benefits of specific products and the best ways to sell them–directly from the manufacturers.  S.T.E.P. Training is held every other year.

Supplier of the Year

Awarded annually by the Distributor members of NMDA, the award recognizes those companies who meet and exceed the standards and goals set by the Supplier of the Year committee. All finalists receive valuable ratings and evaluations from distributor customers.

SOY Winners (1972-2018)

2018 Supplier of the Year Ballot Instruction Package