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What Are You Prepared To Do?

One of my favorite movie scenes is from The Untouchables when Sean Connery lies dying on the floor after being hit by one of Al Capone’s henchmen, and with his last ragged breath, he asks Kevin Costner, playing Eliot Ness, “What are you prepared to do?”

It’s a memorable line because it makes clear the distinction between talk and action. We should all be asking ourselves this question today, as we are faced with a constant barrage of rapid changes and continued uncertainty as to what the future holds.

There’s a renewed optimism in the industry today, albeit fraught with caution. While most everyone has enjoyed a spike in business this year, the global economy is more fragile than ever, the political climate is extremely volatile with uncertainty about taxes and proposed regulations targeting the business community, and although customers are in solid cash positions, they are not quick to spend unless and until they feel certain about their return on investment. Today’s customer is more educated and will comprehensively review every proposed purchase, weighing every option with the utmost scrutiny, resulting in intense competition.

You may remember my referencing that MHEDA is engaged each year in a structured strategic planning process which drives everything we do as an organization. Each summer, MHEDA’s Executive Committee meets to delve into an environmental analysis, looking both externally and internally at the environment in which we operate. This analysis allows us to develop “Critical Impact Factors” we see that are facing the industry and what we use to create programs, services and informational resources for our members. They are the challenges that beg the question, “What are you prepared to do?”

If you are in a MHEDA-NET group, you’ll be receiving a copy of these, and you are encouraged to discuss ways to address each of these factors. A complete list of MHEDA’s Critical Impact Factors can be found in the online magazine at www.TheMhedaJournal.org. Many members are utilizing these while they engage in their own planning sessions with key managers. We hope you do the same to determine how you will prepare for what the future holds.

Read the MHEDA Critical Impact Factors online at www.TheMhedaJournal.org.

Preparing for the next chapter is also something that must be on the minds of a few close friends and colleagues. I was humbled to be part of exciting celebrations recently honoring three colleagues. We bid “farewell” to retiring executives Bill Montwieler, executive director of the Industrial Truck Association, and to John Nofsinger, CEO of Material Handling Industry of America, both of whom have worked tirelessly to further the interests of the industry. These gentlemen have left indelible marks to increase the recognition and appreciation of the industry at large by creating alliances with the global community, making the industry a safer place for the end-user community and strengthening the ties among all industry partners. We owe them our thanks and gratitude for the good work they have done and the friendship they have shown to MHEDA. And to our good friend and MHEDA partner since 1980, Herb Greenberg, founder and CEO of Caliper, who celebrated a milestone 50 years in business, we are looking forward to the next 50 years of our partnership and appreciate all the assistance Caliper has provided to the thousands of members who have used Caliper as a hiring assessment tool and HR resource.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you. Please contact MHEDA by calling 847-680-3500 or email at connect@mheda.org.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
Liz Richards Liz Richards
Executive Vice President