Fall 2017 Someone You Should Know
With so many ERA members, it is not easy to get to know every rep, manufacturer and distributor in the business.“Someone You Should Know” is The Representor department that gives readers the chance to learn about fellow ERA members, including how their time is spent both in and out of the office.
Meet Adam Anderson, CPMR, sales engineer at Norris & Associates located in Hingham, Mass.
The Representor asked Adam a few questions about his time in the rep business and his experiences with ERA. Here is what he had to say.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a sales engineer at Norris & Associates in Massachusetts. I studied mechanical engineering at Tufts University and have been in the electronics industry for 15 years. I am a native of New England, and my sales territory includes eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I have two teenagers and have been married for 20 years. I am currently a board member of the New England Chapter of ERA.
What are some things you enjoy outside of the workplace?
When I am not working, I like to run, hike, play tennis and exercise. My family has a beach cottage on Cape Cod where we spend most of our weekends during the summer. We like to sail and spend lots of time at the beach.
How long have you been an ERA member and how long in the rep business?
I have been an ERA member for five years and have been in the rep business for 10 years.
How did you become interested in being a rep in the electronics industry?
When I was in my mid-20s, I went back to graduate school for an MBA. After graduating, I was looking for a career path that would utilize the technical training of my engineering degree with the business skills I learned in business school. Before long, I had the opportunity to work as a field sales rep for Arrow Electronics. This experience provided a great introduction to the electronics industry, and I found that I really enjoyed working with customers on new designs. After five years at Arrow, I had the opportunity to make the transition from distribution to the rep business.
What have you found to be most rewarding about the rep business?
The most rewarding aspects of being a rep are the opportunities for continuous learning and the ability to solve customers’ problems. We are constantly being challenged to learn more about our customers, the manufacturers that we represent and the ever-changing technology that drives our business. It is also a great feeling to participate in a customer’s design process and then see our solution used successfully in the customer’s final product.
Briefly describe your rep firm.
Norris & Associates is based in Hingham, Mass., and was founded by Dave Norris in 1988. We provide sales coverage for the six New England states and are engaged with customers in a wide range of markets. The company has grown steadily and continues to invest in people and technology to support its customers and principals.
What recent innovations, best practices and/or changes has your company made?
We recently launched an all-new company website. Having a well-designed website is critical in today’s world, and we are striving to make sure our site is a source of useful, updated content for our customers and principals.
What have you learned and/or what contacts have you made through ERA that have had the greatest positive impacts on you and/or your business?
One of the most significant impacts that the ERA has had on me has been my participation in the CPMR program. I had the opportunity to attend CPMR classes from 2014-2016, and I found it to be a very beneficial experience. It was great to be able to take some time away from my day-to-day business to learn about best practices, growth strategies and better ways to engage with customers and manufacturers. I also have learned a lot by attending several of the ERA national conferences; these events always offer lots of great information and speakers. My participation at national and local ERA events has enabled me to develop valuable relationships with other reps from around the country.
Are you active on social media? Do you follow ERA? Have ERA updates via social media been helpful to you?
In addition to following ERA on LinkedIn, I follow a number of ERA members around the country. Seeing daily posts from ERA and others about consumer trends, new technology and manufacturer news is helpful and a great way to keep tabs on changes in our industry. The ERA updates also keep me informed about upcoming teleforums and other ERA events. I also make sure to follow my customers on LinkedIn and Instagram in order to keep up with new product launches and other company news.
What is one interesting fact that people may not know about you?
After college, I served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. I spent four years aboard a guided missile destroyer based in Norfolk, Va. It was a great experience that taught me lessons that are still useful in my job today.