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What You Told Us

As Greg Morrison mentioned in his President’s column, now is the time when MHEDA’s Executive Committee begins the first phase of the annual Strategic Planning Process, which helps the Board of Directors and staff develop plans and programs for the coming year. This process begins with YOU, our valued members, and the feedback you provide to us through MHEDA’s annual membership survey. Everything we do as an organization is designed to support the association mission, making sure the distributor remains the most effective and efficient conduit to the marketplace.

As of this writing, the satisfaction rate reported by members is very high, with 99 percent of respondents indicating they are satisfied or very satisfied with their membership. When asked if MHEDA membership has become more or less important over the past year, here is what two of you said: “Our need for professional identity and inspiration for my employees has never been greater and a MHEDA affiliation brings some of that.” “As some members choose not to continue to invest in MHEDA programs, those who do gain a relative advantage that will always return dividends when the economy returns to health.”

Distributors told us that the Distributor Financial Benchmarking Report (DiSC) is their most valuable part of membership, with Educational Programs, The MHEDA Journal and the Compensation Report also rated very highly. Supplier members consider Convention and access to the membership to be most valuable.

When it comes to training, the majority of dollars are being allocated to technician training (60 to 70 percent of training budget on average), with about 25 percent being spent on sales training. Ten percent or less is being allocated for manager training.

Seventy-four percent of respondents plan to use the Career Center feature on MHEDA’s website to search for resumes. Correspondingly, 73 percent will post job opportunities on the site. Many of you are working with your local colleges and universities to recruit students through job fairs and serving on academic boards but it was often stated that companies are not actively recruiting students at this time. Three-quarters of you would likely use a “Hiring Tool Kit” if MHEDA made it available to you. We will keep you posted!

Roughly 63 percent of distributors are on LinkedIn, with 12 percent using Twitter. More supplier members are using Twitter (29 percent), with 59 percent on LinkedIn. All of you prefer face-to-face meetings as your most desired format for networking, but there were many positive comments made about the value of MHEDA-NET.

The most pressing business issues of concern to you are (in order of importance): the cost of doing business, margins/market share, economic uncertainty, business development and sales opportunities, customer demands, and government regulations. There are many other concerns on your plate including credit constraints, employee training, aftermarket operations and management and marketplace overcapacity. Non-dealer principals and supplier members most often listed economic uncertainty as their biggest concern with dealer principals, not surprisingly, reporting the cost of doing business as their biggest concern.

The next step for MHEDA’s leadership is to analyze your responses and build programming around it.  We greatly appreciate your feedback, and we welcome any other comments or questions you have.  Thank you!

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association


Liz Richards Liz Richards
Executive Vice President


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