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The New Norm

The year 2012 promises to be an interesting and challenging one for many reasons: It’s a presidential election year. The economic recovery remains spotty. GDP is forecasting at one to two percent. Housing starts are planned to be between 600 and 700. Unemployment is expected to remain above nine percent. Instead of hiring, companies are looking at how they can increase production and improve processes. What is the impact of China and the Far East on manufacturers, and how is it affecting distributors who have to get quality products in a timely manner?

Will 2012 be The New Norm? The more important question is: “How are MHEDA distributors and suppliers planning for The New Norm?” With that in mind, I would like to review what steps the MHEDA Board and staff are taking to be a resource to our members.

Board Make-Up
The MHEDA Board consists of 17 distributors and 4 suppliers who are a representation of the MHEDA membership. The board meets twice a year; the Executive Committee meets again in the summer. This is quite a commitment for industry leaders who want to give something back to the material handling industry.

Planning for 2012 began at the Executive Committee Meeting held last July. An objective of the meeting was to do an environmental analysis, internal and external of the industry, and to identify what we think are the Critical Impact Factors for 2012. These factors are posted online at www.mheda.org/criticalimpactfactors.

At our dealership, we reviewed the Critical Impact Factors with our management team and decided how they relate to our business and what impact they might have in 2012.

2012 MHEDA President Richard Donnelly can be reached by phone at 919-828-0641 or by email at DONNELLY@gregpoole.com

Committee Work
The four standing committees for MHEDA are Education, Membership, Networking and Member Advocacy.

MHEDA’s Education Committee will be providing ten new webinars and four live programs focusing on current issues that are facing MHEDA members. A long-term objective is to create an online MHEDA University portal as the recognized leader in providing interim education for the material handling industry.

The mission of the Membership Committee is to retain and attract new members. The Most Valuable Partner (MVP) Program was introduced in 2011, which recognizes distributors who demonstrate excellence in industry relations, customer relations, peer-to-peer networking, training and best practices. I encourage every MHEDA distributor to apply for this recognition.

The Networking Committee will continue to offer programs on MHEDA-NET, virtual roundtables, regional Lunch and Learn programs, and MHEDA’s social media presence. These valuable programs offer you the opportunity to benchmark and learn from your peers.

Member Advocacy is working to provide MHEDA members with tools that promote the industry and the value they bring to all their stockholders. MHEDA works closely with universities and trade schools to promote the material handling industry and attract new talent. In 2012, MHEDA will again be an active partner hosting Classroom Day at MODEX.

The 2012 Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, will be our major networking event in 2012. This year’s theme is “Re-Imagine Your Business” and will provide you with an opportunity to network with your peers and discuss timely topics that are important to your business today.

I hope you can see that the MHEDA Board and staff have organized a comprehensive program in 2012 to assist members in positioning their companies for “The New Norm.”  I am honored and proud to be your 2012 MHEDA President.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
Richard Donnelly Richard Donnelly
2012 MHEDA President
EVP of Gregory Poole Equipment Co.