I realized my 100-year-old house was a bit of a fixer-upper when I bought it, but I figured I’d do most of the work myself. I was filled with enthusiasm and thought it would be fun. I unfortunately didn’t realize that I’m not very good at DIY projects until after I’d begun the first major project. Let’s just say it did not go well.

I scouted around and got several quotes from contractors to not only finish the project at hand, but to repair the damage I’d done. The person I eventually hired offered a number of innovative options at a reasonable price, and I hired him for the job. I’m so glad I did; he remains on my speed dial to this day. His work is excellent, he’s far more knowledgeable and skillful than I am, and I know I can always trust him to find cost-effective solutions to my various household projects/disasters.

Many manufacturers have developed similar relationships with distributors. The role of distributors has evolved over the years to encompass much more than just raw material deliveries. Many distributors offer R&D, testing and product trial services to help manufacturers achieve their goals. For manufacturers that don’t have the staff or the desire to stay on top of a multitude of materials-related issues, finding the right distributor can be the perfect solution.

To help connect manufacturers with the appropriate distributor partner, this issue of ASI includes our second annualDistributor Directory. This year-long reference tool is organized by region to help you quickly locate a distributor in your area. Distributor listings include company contact information, including address, phone, fax, email, website and key contacts, as well as a description of the company’s offerings.* Many listings also include details regarding the companies that the distributor represents.

TheDistributor Directoryis a work in progress, and we’d love to hear your comments. Please contact me at (330) 336-4098 orsuttons@bnpmedia.comwith your suggestions.

*Supplier listings indicate paid advertising. Contact Peg Van Winkle at vanwinklep@bnpmedia.com for pricing and additional details.