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The Rules Have Changed


The last two years have been a wake-up call for many people in the material handling industry. In many cases, the economic slump has caused less purchasing, extended payment cycles, and even bankruptcies and closings. It has affected our customers and our customers’ customers. Some say the bullish days of the mid-2000s are gone forever. What used to be commonplace—easy-to-obtain credit, healthy and stable stock prices, and customer loyalty—are now the exceptions.

There’s a new “normal” in the business environment, and the rules that govern behavior have changed. There is no more “business as usual,” and those who understand the implications and opportunities that exist in this environment are the ones who will succeed. What can distributors do to adjust?

Below, eight MHEDA members answer exactly that question. These companies have decided that pulling in their horns, sitting idle and waiting for things to improve around them isn’t the path to success. They are changing the way they do business and making things happen. Whether it’s enforcing stricter credit policies, concentrating heavily on rental equipment, employing lean operations methods, promoting green projects, diversifying into new product lines, revamping their parts delivery, adding complementary product lines or embracing the use of social media, each of these companies is writing a new set of rules for this new economy.

The Rules Have Changed in material handling. Read on to learn the best ways to compete.



  1. The Spring 2010 issue of The MHEDA Journal, with the cover “2010: The Rules Have Changed,” is a fantastic offering! I think this is the most helpful edition that has been put out in a while—maybe ever. It just seems like it is stacked full of great advice that is very timely for the dealer in today’s business environment! Congrats to everybody that had a hand in putting this together. Well done!

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