The association of North American Tool Suppliers (NATS) – an association made up of 17 independent tool and equipment distributors located throughout the U.S. – held its ninth annual Spring Meeting in Newark, New Jersey, May 5-7. This meeting’s attendance included 50 participating vendors and NATS members.
By holding this event, NATS’ goal was to bring vendors and NATS members together for mutually beneficial meetings. “These meetings and presentations allow the NATS members to meet directly with factory suppliers of products that are supported by the entire group,” says NATS President Sandor Epstein.
At the meeting, 21 manufacturers made presentations directly to the NATS members. According to Epstein, “Each vendor is assigned a presentation time slot along with a question and answer period.” During this time, the vendor discussed their product line and the NATS group goal.
“We work together to collaborate on ways to make our programs stronger, so both the members and the vendors see it as a win-win cooperative,” says Epstein.
Part of what sets NATS apart is that each of its members has their own way of going to market. The organization looks to optimize its partnership with the valued suppliers they represent. “Our main goal,” says Epstein, “is to be competitive in the marketplace and to maintain our direct connection to the factories we do business with.”
NATS isn’t all work and no play though, every Spring Meeting, after the two days full of meetings, members and vendors are whisked away for an eight-hour adventure, which has taken the organization to a variety of special places over the years. (See photo gallery for pictures.) This year’s adventure started with a private tour of the Anheuser Busch plant in Newark, New Jersey, then continued with a competitive axe throwing competition, and ended with an authentic Polish dinner complete with a sing-along group.
Overall, Epstein stated, “The event is a great network opportunity for all to interact on a personal level.”