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Industry News
NAED Announces 2008-2009 Research in Action Webinar Series Schedule
September 21, 2008

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) is offering ongoing Research in Action Webinars to help NAED member companies remain competitive and profitable in multiple market sectors. These online seminars offer live participation dates and the option of launching archives of the presentations through the NAED Learning Center (NLC). These Webinars share key findings from the most recent research studies funded by the NAED Education & Research Foundation’s Channel Advantage Partnership (CAP) endowment.

The Webinars are offered at no additional charge to NAED member businesses. This year’s Webinar schedule includes two series based on current CAP projects and an ongoing series of TED Magazine articles covering topics on green building and energy markets.

The Research in Action series schedule is:

Service Liability in Electrical Distribution: Risks and Protections
This Webinar series provides background information to raise awareness as well as heighten the intellectual capital of NAED members about liability exposures from the value-added services they provide. Specifically, it makes recommendations about adequate protections electrical distributors can put into place to manage and mitigate service liability exposures.

1. Service Liabilities: the New Frontier of Legal Exposure (October 1, 2008, 2:00 p.m. EST) – Providing specialty services to customers is part of the core business of NAED member companies. This Webinar offers an overview of the CAP study, entitled Service Liability in Electrical Distribution: Risks and Protections. It examines risk and legal exposures from statutes, court cases, and contractual liabilities, and helps distributors ensure they have adequate protections in place to manage risks and exposures.

2. The Added Services Distributors Provide and the Liability Exposures those Services Create (November 5, 2008, 2:00 p.m. EST) – In today’s increasingly competitive business world, providing specialty services gives distributors validity in the marketplace. However, in today’s increasingly litigious environment, distributors could lose more than just their competitive edge if they are not adequately protected from the liability exposures that come with providing a service package. This Webinar reviews the various services NAED members offer in the channel and identifies the risks associated with each. It ends with specific recommended measures to prevent liability on: training; energy audits; kitting; engineering services and support; staging products; consigned inventory; lamp recycling; and panel building.

3. Hybrid Services: Where the Sale of Products and Services Merge (January 14, 2009, 2:00 p.m. EST) – Distributors assume an expanding scope of liability as they become a hybrid of both product seller and service provider. Their exposure to both liability and financial risk is altered in this emerging model. In addition to the product liability they always assumed, there is a new service liability exposure with the administration of value-added services. This Webinar discusses the nature of hybrid services generally, identifies the liabilities associated with the provision of hybrid services, and recommends protections to implement when providing hybrid services.

4. Exposures of Providing Training Services to Customers (March 4, 2009, 2:00 p.m. EST) – The training services we provide will give you many benefits! Believe it or not, this type of claim can increase a distributor’s liability exposure. This Webinar explains how by differentiating the liabilities between providing training on products a distributor sells and those it does not sell, reviewing the issue of using employees versus third-parties to provide training, and explaining the duty of requisite and due care. In addition, the Webinar discusses how distributors can use experts to develop consistent and uniform templates and training modules, and makes recommendations for addressing training liability exposures.

5. Risk Management Tools to Mitigate Service Liability Exposures (April 8, 2009, 2:00 p.m. EST) – For a business, exposure to risk could lead to disaster. Unfortunately, too many electrical distributors are not well informed about the liability exposures coming from providing value-added services, even as this becomes an increasing part of their core business. Luckily, distributors can safeguard their business and increase its success rate by having an effective risk management policy in place. This Webinar helps distributors identify risks before they occur by examining best practices to use when managing service liability exposures. It discusses how to design a risk management model to evaluate the risks of providing a service before determining whether or not to afford the service, and reviews insurance protections available to distributors in their own insurance portfolio or that of an out-sourced service provider.

Green Goes Mainstream: How to Profit from the Green Building Revolution
This Webinar series examines the state of energy markets and how distributors can profit from them. It helps NAED members understand the energy efficiency retrofit market and the technologies that will be most in demand in coming years. Specifically, it outlines the business opportunities NAED members should seize; shows how to make the business case for investments in energy efficiency products and services; identifies technologies used in green building renovation projects and commercial energy conservation retrofits; and makes recommendations on how electrical distributors need to position themselves to take advantage of identified business opportunities.

1. Today’s Energy Efficiency Market: An Overview (October 22, 2008, 2:00 p.m. EST) – Energy efficiency may be the farthest-reaching, least-polluting, and fastest-growing U.S. energy success story of the past few decades. However, it’s also the most invisible, the least understood, and in serious danger of missing out on needed future investments. To help NAED members seize the energy market’s growth opportunities, this Webinar presents an overview of major findings from the Channel Advantage Partnership’s recent study entitled, Green Goes Mainstream: How to Profit from the Green Building Revolution. The Webinar focuses on the energy market’s driving and inhibiting forces, its projected growth, and also looks at new construction vs. renovation/remodels.

2. Trends in Energy Efficient Investments Through 2012 (October 29, 2008, 2:00 p.m. EST) – The electrical distribution industry is facing tougher competition, which increases the demand to implement cost-effective energy efficiency measures. However, distributors and manufacturers are not undertaking obvious cost-efficient measures at the rate one would expect. This Webinar explains why by looking more closely at barriers to energy efficiency, like building codes and split incentives. In addition, it discusses the energy market’s driving forces—legislative mandates, tax and rebate incentives—and outlines the scope of potential benefits future investments might yield.

3. Energy Market Entry Strategies (December 10, 2008, 2:00 p.m. EST) – With accelerated market transformation and rapid growth in efficiency investments, total investments in more energy efficiency technologies could increase the energy market by hundreds of billions of dollars annually in the next two decades. This Webinar presents tactical strategies NAED companies can implement to take advantage of the growth opportunities. Specifically, it discusses how to properly educate and incentivize your salespeople, identifies buildings and facilities managers should go after, and looks at electrical distributors’ potential competitors.

4. Making the Business Case for Efficiency Upgrades (February 11, 2009, 2:00 p.m. EST) – With growing demand from customers and increasing legislative mandates for energy efficient buildings, making investment decisions regarding energy efficiency improvements has become a matter of vital importance. This Webinar reviews analysis methods companies should employ when making energy efficiency investment decisions. It discusses energy cost trends, life-cycle cost analysis, financial and tax incentives, utility incentives, legislative mandates, and other driving forces.

Hot Energy Trends
In partnership with TED Magazine, CAP began sponsoring in July 2008 a 12-month Green Column on business opportunities in green building and energy efficiency markets, with a focus on commercial and institutional construction. This Webinar series features key topics identified by the articles as hot energy market opportunities for electrical distributors.

1. Greening Data Centers (January 7, 2009, 2:00 p.m. EST) – Data centers and server farms are placing an ever increasing demand on our limited energy supplies. In fact, the average data center is 40 times more energy intensive than an office building. This Webinar highlights energy efficiency and renewable power generation innovations in this growing industry. Specifically, it looks at a company reaping the benefits of saving approximately $3,000 a month in utility bills by building a highly efficient data center.

2. The Solar Power Revolution (March 18, 2009, 2:00 p.m. EST) – Is solar power really the next big thing in the energy world or will it remain just a niche player? This Webinar examines the market and capital trends around solar power. It discusses the growth in solar power and the driving forces behind it, as well as the technology developments and economics of solar power. In addition, it reviews who in the industry are specifying systems, the role of system integrators in large commercial projects, and opportunities for electrical sales (panels, inverters, meters, etc.).

3. Corporate Sustainability – Walking the Talk (May 13, 2009, 2:00 p.m. EST) – Today’s business world doesn’t look like it did 20 years ago. Corporations are operating in the “Information Age,” encountering greener resource technologies in an increasingly globalized marketplace. They face the challenge of adapting to these changes and that of public opinion. This Webinar discusses these timely issues by exploring the pros and cons of “going green.” Specifically, it offers examples of good corporate sustainability programs for small and medium-sized enterprises, walks you through how to become a sustainable company from baby steps to giant leaps, suggests ways to publicize your efforts both internally and externally, and presents the business case for sustainability planning.

For more information on the Research in Action Webinars, go to www.naed.org or contact the NAED Customer Service at (888) 791-2512 or [email protected].

NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED’s membership represents approximately 4,400 locations internationally.

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