I hope this article finds everyone doing well and feeling better about the economy. The MHEDA Board of Directors recently held its Winter meeting. All segments were well-represented, including industrial trucks, storage & handling and engineered systems. Four representatives of the Manufacturers Board of Advisors (MBOA) provided great insight on what they are seeing and what they are doing to strengthen relationships with distributors. There was an abundance of cautious optimism relating to the 2011 economic outlook. The industrial truck segment is forecasting an uptick in unit sales of 8 percent to 10 percent, while the storage & handling/engineered systems segments forecast an improvement of 10 percent to 15 percent across the board. The great news here is that “uptick” and “improvement” were often-heard terms.
As a part of our meeting and strategic planning process, we conducted a roundtable discussion using the association’s critical impact factors as an agenda to discuss topics such as the economic recovery, the banking and lending climate, emerging online technologies, the impact of green initiatives, consolidation of customers and lengthened lead times. Needless to say, the conversations were lively and spirited. One of the many benefits of being on the Board is being part of these discussions. It is a great opportunity to join peers from all industry segments, listen to what others have to say and take copious notes to bring back and empower your own team members to assist in making your organization one of the best-in-class providers in the industry.
The open discussion allows all Board members the opportunity to comment on how their companies are performing along with the dynamics associated with the changing economy. It provides a pulse for how our team members and customers are responding and positions us to stay focused on their expectations.
The Customer Convention
The theme of this year’s Convention, “The Customer Convention,” could not be more timely. As the economy continues to improve and customers begin appropriating more funds for capital expenditures, we need to make sure we are positioned to assist with value-added, cost-justified solutions. This year’s Convention is packed with educational topics such as the six unstoppable economic trends, the legendary service at the Ritz-Carlton, designing the perfect customer experience, and controlling your online reputation. We will have two panel discussions, the Industry Panel and the Customer Panel. The Industry Panel is called “Distributors & Manufacturers Alignment for Success” and the Customer Panel is titled “Supporting Your Customers: Customer Service Philosophy.” Speed networking and networking roundtables will be conducted during Convention, along with numerous best practice workshops on topics including sales compensation, online marketing and online search secrets.
|2011 MHEDA President Chuck Frank can be reached by phone at 513-562-1320 or by email at CFrank@ahs1.com.|
If you have attended Convention in the past, you know what to expect—and welcome back! If this will be your first time attending Convention, we welcome you and look forward to the opportunity to spend time together. We are confident that attending the MHEDA Convention will be one of the best investments you make in 2011. The time spent with your peers and the educational opportunities will pay for themselves over and over. Best of luck to you and your organizations, and we look forward to seeing you in Phoenix, Arizona, from April 30 to May 4.
2011 MHEDA President
President and CEO of AHS Inc.