New service helps locate sales reps, a new website, a has the potential to deliver three valuable services:

1. Help specifiers and contractors locate local sales reps.  Suppose an architect looking for an door hardware representative to assist with a project; the architect doesn't care which manufacturer, but wants a rep that is local, knows local conditions, and can come to the job site on short notice. The architect can probably find such a rep by visiting manufacturer websites or calling manufacturers, but this is time consuming and not always productive.  The new website allows the architect to enter, for example, "CALIFORNIA" and "Division 8 - Doors and Hardware" and locate Valarie Harris, FCSI and other qualified sales representatives. (I hope the site is refined in the future so I can refine the database so one can search, for example, by Zip Code and by MasterFormat section numbers.)

2. Give reps a way to promote themselves. While the database seems set up to allow individual reps to enroll themselves, I am sure a manufacturer's sales manager can figure out a way to enroll all the reps for the company.

3. Provide a recruiting database where manufacturers can locate reps and agencies to that can be approached to join the manufacturer's team.

I salute, David G. Axt, CCS CSI SCIP, the site's publisher, for developing this and wish him success. In a phone call with David, he points out that many manufacturers have cut back on the extent of their rep force and reps make fewer cold calls on architects; this has made it harder to know local reps. More, architects used to be able to find a rep's business card in a manufacturer's three-ring binder, but few firms use them anymore. He recommends that websites for product manufacturers include contact info for local reps.