The Importance of Independent and Specialty Distributors Throughout the Pandemic

The pandemic provided its share of challenges for the healthcare supply chain throughout 2020. As health systems scrambled to meet demand brought on by COVID-19, distributors and manufacturers were also asked to adjust to the threat level created by the novel coronavirus. It required resiliency, creativity, and an ability to source—and qualify—excellent product.
True to form, independent and specialty distributors demonstrated their agility. “They went beyond their specializations and provided the best possible products to their customers,” said Mark Kline, Chief Commercial Officer for NDC, Inc., a healthcare supply chain company serving multiple markets. “Independent distributors offered the flexibility to change to the models necessary to meet demand.”


ROI: It’s About More Than Just Money

September 27-29, 2021
Eaglewood Resort / Itasca, Illinois


HIRA focuses on promoting the Independent Manufacturers Rep (IMR) function within the healthcare industry. Its members are independent sales agencies located across the nation who offer manufacturers a professional, highly qualified sales force. Additionally, Associate Members who support the continuing use of independent sales agencies to market their products.

"The Importance of Professionalism" by HIRA Board Member / Keynae Agnew

One of the benefits of serving on MANA’s Board of Directors and the Health Industry Representatives Association Board of Directors is that I get to meet and speak with many other manufacturers’ representatives. They have lots of different ways to go to market, and the products they sell serve many different industries — but they all have one thing in common:
They are proud sales professionals.

Reps know that building rapport between their customers,
their principals, and themselves doesn’t just get business — it gets repeat business.

Each of them expresses their professionalism in their own way, and I would like to share with you some things that I have learned about professionalism from my counterparts who span so many industries across the country.

I’ve learned that there are many reasons that they have committed to professionalism:

  • Customers and principals seek out professional rep partners.
- Customers want to buy from professionals because the customer’s companies can only meet their commitments when their partners keep their promises.
- Principals seek out professional rep partners because they know they can ride their rep partners’ coattails to gain customers’ trust much more quickly than they could on their own.
  • Reps know that building rapport between their customers, their principals, and themselves doesn’t just get business — it gets repeat business. Customers know that trusted sources perform week after week, year after year, and are too valuable to displace for an unknown, untested, new source.
  • Reps also know that their professionalism and reputation is their ticket to consideration when manufacturers interview new reps in their territory.
READ MORE - from MANA's Agency Sales


Ben DeGiulio HIRA Board VP


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