Just like the rest of the world, we are doing everything we can during these tough times to retain our customers. Over the past few months I have talked with a number of member distributors, many of whom have been considering dropping their MHEDA membership because they view the membership dues as an “expense.” Frankly, nothing can be further from the truth. MHEDA membership is an investment that can be paid back tenfold if you and your employees are taking advantage of the programs and services. Of course that’s the million dollar “IF.” If you are a MHEDA member, you are only going to get out of the membership what you put into it. And there’s an abundance of offerings.
If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you to watch a webinar on the MHEDA Web site titled “Ten Tips to Leverage Your MHEDA Advantage.” This webinar outlines ten ways you can leverage the investment you make in MHEDA to improve your business practices, train your employees, benchmark your performance, and network with your peers. You’ll find this webinar at www.mheda.org/membership. Be sure you and your employees are aware of and using all the resources of your trade association. Check it out!
Have you heard the buzz about wikiMHEDA? Just launched in early May at MHEDA’s Convention, wikiMHEDA is your industry resource for all things material handling. In addition to product demonstrations, white papers, spec sheets, news stories and industry terminology, there is a comprehensive, searchable buyer’s directory that is being pushed out to end-users. This is the go-to place for customers to find products and the distributors who sell them. It’s imperative that you make sure your product category listings are up to date so you are accurately represented on the wiki site. If you have not already heard from the folks at Data Key Communications (developers of the site), call their office at 315-445-2347, or give us a call at MHEDA and we’ll take it from there. Be sure to visit this latest industry tool at www.wikimheda.org.
One of the easiest and most productive ways to leverage your MHEDA membership is by participating in the webinar programs available throughout the year. Some are FREE and others cost only $149 per location. You can offer an industry specific, educational “Lunch and Learn” program for ten employees for less than $15 per person!
Use your involvement in MHEDA to your advantage when you communicate with customers. You’ll notice a new “Value of MHEDA” advertisement running in the trade press. We strongly encourage you to display this ad on your Web site, incorporate it into your proposals and convey to your customers that you belong to your industry association because you believe in continuous improvement. If you have not already incorporated this message on your Web site and marketing materials, contact our office and we’ll send you the electronic files.
At MHEDA, we are also scrutinizing every dollar that leaves this office. But when it comes to our involvement in our industry trade association, membership dues are not viewed as an expense but as an investment in a resource that we can’t do without, especially during times like these. I cannot imagine being without my peer network to help us navigate some of the issues we are facing as a trade association. Please make sure you are using MHEDA in every way possible to help you too.