The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012 - (Page 9)

RE-IMAGINE YOUR BUSINESS PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE Convention Helps You Position Your Company for the Future RICHARD DONNELLY 2012 MHEDA PRESIDENT I n my first article, I wrote about how the economy is predicted for slow growth for the next 3-5 years. The real GDP in 2012 is forecasted to be around 2.3 percent. Job losses have stopped, but companies are reluctant to hire and unemployment continues to be above 8.5 percent. Housing prices are still stressed and less than 800,000 housing starts are predicted in 2013 even with the interest rates in the 3.5 to 4 percent range. The construction industry continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates, and Federal and State funds have been reduced for major transportation projects. With these  economic forecasts, it makes you wonder why manufacturers of material handling equipment are optimistic about 2012. One of the major reasons is that manufacturing growth is outpacing the GDP and is predicted to continue in the near future. Specifically, if you look at the lift truck industry retail orders for lift trucks grew 39 percent in 2010 and more than 20 percent in 2011, with a forecast for an 11-15 percent increase in 2012. The strategic questions you need to ask yourself in 2012 is “How do I position my company for the next 3-5 years, based on slow economic growth vs. the optimistic manufacturing forecast, and what resources are available to me and my team to make long term strategic decisions?” MHEDA is one of the places to gain industry specific information and particularly, the 2012 MHEDA Annual Convention. Since joining MHEDA in 1994, I have attended almost every convention. I firmly believe that through the years Gregory Poole and I personally, have received an excellent return on the financial and time investment. I attend the convention for two primary reasons: to network with industry leaders who are very successful and, gain information on the latest products and services that will assist me in making decisions on ways to improve the performance of the company. At the 2008 convention, Brian Beaulieu, economist with the  Institute for Trend Research, forecasted that the manufacturing and material handling industry was going to have a major downturn beginning in the last half of 2008 and through 2009. Based on his forecast and other info we gathered, our team put together a trough plan that assisted us to successfully manage through the recent recession. I look forward to hearing what Alan Beaulieu, Brian’s brother,  has to say at this year’s convention. Last year we were establishing a new and different sales position, and after attending the Sales Compensation presentation at the convention, we used some of the recommendations to develop the compensation plan. The 2012 convention theme is “ReImagine Your Business.” What a great theme based on where we are in the economy. A question you might ask is “Are you managing your business or is your business managing you?” Too many times we get caught up in managing the day-to-day operations and don’t take the time to consider how we want to brand and position the company. If you want to hear innovative thinking that is specific to our industry, then you need to consider attending the convention this year. The General Sessions will include topics ranging from Financial Trends affecting the industry to branding your company and — with continuous improvement and execution — you can position your company ahead of your competitors. There will be nine Speed Track Workshops and, new in 2012, seven 30-Minute Ignite Sessions. What I like most about these sessions is their relevance to the current market conditions. Many of them are presented by MHEDA members who have developed best practices in the area they are presenting. The Exhibitors’ Showcase gives me the opportunity to meet with existing and potential new suppliers to review new technology, products and services that assist in managing and growing our business. I hope you can see that the 2012 Convention will be a resource for you to “Re-Imagine Your Business.” Consider bringing another manager with you, or if you cannot attend, send them in your place! Hope to see you at the 2012 Convention! The MHEDA Journal | Second Quar ter 2 012 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012

President's Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Ask Your Board
Meet The MBOA
Mackinnon Equipment & Services
Member Profile
Bode Equipment Company's Office Supervisor Meredith Fowler is a jack of all trades
Customer Service Automation
Continued Growth Expected in 2012
The Off-Season
Convention Program - Re-Imagine Your Business
Convention Program
Exhibitor's Showcase Guide
Out of the Classroom, Into the Shop
The Link between Sales and Absorption: To sell more, service more!
Social Media and the C-Level: Objections Discussed
Sucession Planning and the Emerging Generations: Five Trends You Need to Know
Sucession Planning
Sucession Planning and the Emerging Generations: Five Trends You Need to Know
Work-Life Balance: It's All Up To You !
Controlling Your Workers Compensation Costs
Transactional vs. Consultative Selling
The Traits of Great Salespeople
Who's to Say What Is Sexy
Spotlight on MHEDA News
MHEDA University Calendar
New Members
MHEDA Milestones
New Products
Index of Advertisers by Product Category

The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012