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MAPP Plastics Discussion Forum

The MAPP Plastic Industry Discussion Forum allows members to rapidly communicate with each other. Post both questions and answers to questions that other MAPP members have about any industry topic from material and process issues to R&E Tax Credits and other business issues.

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Posted:  12 Oct 2015 22:43
I am curious about how you handle your sales you use Mfg Reps or in-house sales people?

If you use Reps, do you pay commission on the life of the part, or is there a time-frame to pay commissions based on add'l new business brought in? (i.e. how to keep them motivated when they start receiving commission checks)

Posted:  15 Oct 2015 17:04
Meredith, yes Viking Plastics uses Reps.   Your question could lead to a lengthy discussion.  If you are going to the MAPP Conference, look me or one of the Viking Plastics people and we'll give you some answers...



Kelly Goodsel
Posted:  15 Oct 2015 17:12
Meredith, I have used reps and direct over the years and find while more expensive upfront, direct is better when you are selling precision and complex moldings.  It depends on the technical skills of the reps, but often you spend a lot of time supporting them internally and with the customer.

Randy Smallwood

Randy Smallwood
Posted:  15 Oct 2015 17:22
Happy to help you out with some insight into using Reps.  Half our business is handled direct and the other half using Manufacturers Reps.  After spending 14 years as a Rep, I can provide some unique insight into how to approach, retain and effectively use Reps to grow your business.
It would be best to talk over the phone or connect at the MAPP conference next week.
Tom Wood
Posted:  15 Oct 2015 17:47
I just started with a rep agency here at Jackson Mfg. I am having them rep my full line of control & adjustment knobs.
They rep the six states that surround Iowa. They are paid the std 5% of net invoice. They are doing a good job for me and I am optimistic for much better knob sales.They have a team of three salesman and one female office manger that push our line.
I motivate by positive encouragement, coaching, and of course $$.
Jack Hasken

Jack Hasken
Posted:  16 Oct 2015 00:06

We used to use mfg reps but have moved to our in house sales. We are in automotive and our biggest problem was the long sales cycle in winning projects. Also we found once we started working with customers they started working more directly with our team and the mfg rep added less value. We have been very pleased since we added in house sales and have seen our sales grow.

If you would like to discuss in more detail please let me know.

Craig Carrel
Posted:  22 Oct 2015 17:05
Thank you everyone for your input!
Much appreciated.

I wish I could attend the conference this year, hopefully next time!

Very much appreciate the input from these groups.
Thanks again,
Posted:  19 Jan 2016 16:03
I want to bump this thread if I can.  Regarding outside sales reps., I have one that after 20 years all of a sudden wants to implement a sales agreement.  It may be age related as he is getting older and has a younger family member working for him.  It may also be he is looking to protect what he has built to pass along to this family member. 

In any event I have 2 areas of concern that I think I need to address:  First, do people normally build in graduated commission rate schedules that decrease over a period of time?  We have normally paid a standard commission over the life of the part that in some instances can last a decade or more and generally find the longer it goes the less a rep is involved with actively managing it.

Second, if this rep goes in the front door and doesn't get past the front desk, but another rep goes in the back door and has access to people making decisions, who should get awarded the account?  I have had instances in the past where certain reps solicit the same account within a short period of each other and the second person to solicit the account has had success over the first person, but the first person sees the introduction of the account as having ownership.  In the contract this rep is proposing, he is stating that he should have ownership of an account for a period of time once an RFQ is delivered to me.

I apologize of this is convoluted, just trying to see if there is some sort of accepted standard.

Thanks in advance.


Bret Joslyn
Posted:  19 Jan 2016 17:25

Good morning.  Your concerns have been experienced here at Bamar as well.  We did have Sales Agreements and contracts, but many years ago back in the 80's & even 90's I think 'life of part' was pretty common for Mfg. Reps.  We also experienced lack of involvement once the project is in production and going smoothly.  Not only lack of involvement in that particular project, but lack of motivation to pursue other opportunities as well.
So, we did implement a clause where comm was paid based on the product life cycle.  Comm declined (% wise) along with the product life cycle until phasing out completely.
Regarding competing reps, we usually had territories or situations where it was clear who the rep was, but we did have some instances of split commission.  I suppose this is something both parties and your company, all 3 of you, would have to agree to.
I'm sure you will be 'tweaking' and perhaps re-wording some of the terms in the Agreement your rep is giving to you.
I believe there should definitely be a clause for a phase out along with the project, and a cancellation clause of course, by either party for any reason at any time.

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