As those who attended the Industry Forum last month in Atlanta have learned, the Association is working on the details of a program recommended to us by several of the folks whom we interviewed last summer when we asked how MCAA could serve members better. The need was to find companies with appropriate synergies to help with the distribution of products. Getting the right level of information (well beyond just the name of the company and location which is what you can find from other Directories) is difficult. There are search firms that perform searches but their fees are pretty dear and their knowledge of our industry pretty thin.

Our Partner Search Tool profile is prepared and we are ready to recruit the first companies into a database—and the first 200 of them are going to be able to register to be listed at no cost for the first year. However, we are struggling on finding the right interface so that channel partners will be able to update their profiles at will throughout the year. We need security and compartmentalization to make that work and we are still working out the specifics. So we hope that the program will launch in July and that by fall we will be able to offer searches to manufacturers who want to find compatible channel partners.

We’re also assessing member company interest in another service: contact lead lists through Hoover’s online directory. MCAA can save you money with discounted subscriptions to search the Hoover’s database for leads and then keep your costs down further by letting you get export details from that database through a block puchased by the Association. We’ll be getting details on all that on our website in the next several days.

Are there services with which you think MCAA could help? Talk to me.