Road Warriors

Recently, I spent time with a friend who has been a jewelry manufacturer's representative for 20 years. The conversation turned to business and how the rep's job has become more difficult. It's more dangerous and also subject to unrealistic expectations from many in the manufacturing community who use the services of these road warriors. Today's reps face three major problems: security, compensation, and manufacturer integrity. Reps are targets of criminal gangs that prey on members of the jewelry industry. They're responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in sample lines. Many manufacturers have developed sample lines that use synthetic gemstones and brass, but others, because of the unique nature of their lines, use genuine gemstones and real gold and platinum. The thieves who track traveling sales reps don't know what's in the sample cases, so carrying brass and glass doesn't

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