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The MBOA: The Voice of Supplier and Associate Members to the MHEDA Board

It’s a nice feeling to know that someone is out there supporting you and looking out for your best interest. The members of the MHEDA Manufacturers’ Board of Advisors (MBOA) is working to make sure that MHEDA’s Supplier and Associate members know that feeling well.

The mission of the MBOA is to act as the voice of the Supplier and Associate members to the MHEDA Board of Directors, and to maximize the value of being a member by offering guidance regarding membership development and program content for the benefit of all members.

Established in 1998, the MBOA attends board meetings twice a year and each MBOA member serves on a standing committee to help plan and implement member programs and services.  The MHEDA Journal would like to introduce you to the members serving on MHEDA’s 2012 MBOA.

Here they’ll share what MHEDA means to them, and how they’re working to “Re-imagine their Business” along with MHEDA at our 2012 Annual Convention & Exhibitors Showcase.

MARK NEUWIRTH
VICE PRESIDENT,
UNEX MANUFACTURING INC.

Neuwirth, an industry veteran with 35 years of experience, says that MHEDA provides his organization an “opportunity to work with an association of dealers who invest time and money to be the best of the best.”

At Unex, Neuwirth says this year’s convention theme, “Re-imagine Your Business,” applies as a prompt to move forward and stop looking back on the past few difficult years. “It is time to stop licking our wounds from the previous four years,” Neuwirth explained. “Rather, it is time to step back and look at ourselves in a mirror and see what we have become, and give serious time and consideration on how best to move our new/redefined businesses forward.”

KENT EUDY
VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & MARKETING,
MITSUBISHI CATERPILLAR FORKLIFT AMERICA INC.
Eudy, who has been in the industry for 31 years — all with the same company, agrees that MHEDA helps raise the level of performance for the Material Handling industry. “The resources available through MHEDA have positively impacted the capabilities of our dealer network. From training to networking to “best practices”, the tools provided by the organization have significantly increased dealer performance, which in turn has improved MCFA’s business,” Eudy said.  “Dealers who are active members of MHEDA consistently perform at a higher level than non-members, as evidenced by our benchmarking data.  It is no coincidence that our highest profit dealers are also members of MHEDA.”

At Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc., Eudy says continuing change of the business environment, requires re-evaluation of business practices. “The role of electronic data sharing and social media has grown exponentially in the past few years and will continue expanding. It is critical for all businesses to re-evaluate our respective company’s ‘state of the union’ in this regard and to become willing change agents in order to adapt to the new norms,” Eudy explained. “We cannot allow ourselves to resist or deny the changes that are happening.”

In addition, Eudy says “the most important step to being successful today and going forward, is to insure our workforce is equipped with the right skill sets to successfully stay current with ‘best practices’ and to be predictive of necessary future changes.”

JEFF LONG
VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & SERVICE,
ENERSYS
Another industry veteran, with 37 years experience in the industry, Long feels that MHEDA is important to the Material Handling world due to its focus on the “health and development of independent distribution, which is our customer base.” EnerSys, Long says, is “always looking forward in our business,” he says that MHEDA members should heed the call to “Re-imagine your Business,” by taking a look at the opportunities that have arisen in the aftermath of the past years of struggle.

“The downturn gave us an opportunity to grow with worldwide acquisitions and joint ventures giving us new locations and new products in South America, South Africa and Germany,” Long says. “For us, it is providing our lift truck dealer customers with a financially measureable full solution package for their customers,” Long added. “We offer all types technologies of chargers and batteries, service programs, data information, electric lift truck vs. internal combustion costs analysis and so on. It is a full package of measureable solutions for lift truck dealer’s customers. That is what the members need to be for their customers.”

TIM TYLER
PRESIDENT AND CEO,
BORROUGHS CORPORATION
Tyler started out in the Material Handling Industry earlier than most, mowing the lawn at his family’s company and sweeping warehouse floors when he was “still single digits.”

Growing up in the distribution side of the business and working at all levels — from the warehouse to installation crews to becoming a salesman, then general manager and finally president of Borroughs Corporation— has given Tyler a unique view of the industry. “MHEDA plays a very significant role at Borroughs and has for several decades,” he said, especially noting the relationships “formed with so many of the customers, suppliers and friends we have come to know and participate with in this organization.”

Like the other MBOA members, Tyler says the changing economy has made it essential for businesses to take a look at the way they are doing business, and transform to better meet their customers’ needs. Investments in communications tools, new machine tools and equipment for quality upgrades, and capacity increases have done this for Burroughs, Tyler says, noting, that the “largest investments to date has been made in our most valuable asset, our people.”

“Our view has been that the world we all lived in which was already alive with change increased dramatically with the economic downturn. Many old paradigms needed to be broken in every aspect of our business,” Tyler said. “Our strategy is to make sure we continue to work towards finding ways to having people want to do business with us in the easiest way possible and then deliver the best products and services so we get invited back.”