New NAIP offers collective buying, marketing co-op

Thursday, January 1, 2009

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y.--Zsolt Sapy, vice president of corporate sales for integrator Pro-Active Business Solutions, is looking for partners. Lots of them. As vice president of sales for the new National Association of Installing Partners, he’s looking to team up with hundreds of small integrators and installers of low-voltage products around the country to do national media buys, enter into bulk equipment buys, and participate in an equipment financing program.

It’s a new installation cooperative for the little guy.

“The big guys with public funds manage to stay in business whether or not they’re profitable, ” said Sapy. “It’s the little guys with three or four employees who suffer in an economy like this, and it’s so tough these days that consumers are afraid to pull the trigger from fear that they won’t be in business tomorrow, themselves. So we’re offering some more creative ways to get business.”

The Web site,, will offer a national directory of installers that end users can search in myriad ways. Then, they can submit a request for bid, and the member companies in that geographic area can reply to that request as they please.

“We need the consumer to get a good deal themselves,” said Sapy. “They have to get real value from our members. A company listed on will have to provide the best products at the most competitive prices because if they don’t, another member will.”

The membership dues - a $99 start-up cost, then $19.95 a month - will be used to fund national and regional advertising buys for the Web site, along with pay-per-click campaigns online, bringing end users to companies who wouldn’t otherwise have much of a marketing budget.

Sapy said he plans to announce the first 150 or so members on Dec. 15. He envisions a time when the organization could have as many as 10,000 members.

Unlike other associations and cooperatives in the industry, the NAIP is not a non-profit enterprise, however. “If we can help our members make more sales,” Sapy reasoned, “We’ll experience very high member retention and benefit financially as well.”

Other services for the membership fee will include access to bulk purchasing, where member companies can submit requests that are collected and then submitted to manufacturers en masse; access to easy financing from Direct Capital, CIT, and Marlin Leasing, so that members can offer leasing and financing to their customers with a next-day application process; and educational offerings.