Mhlnews 1104 Liz Richards

Inner Circle: Fitness for Your Business

Feb. 1, 2009
Joining a trade association is like keeping your business in shape.

Lots of people join gyms to work on their health and fitness goals. It’s a great way to relieve stress and meet others who can help you learn new ways to get in shape.

Joining a trade association is like keeping your business in shape. By joining a trade association, you have access to resources and other industry professionals who can help keep your business healthy, strong and continuously improving.

If you are a material handling professional, it makes perfect sense to be active in an industry trade association. Did you know that more than 600 companies and nearly 5,000 people look to the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) for business and networking support? MHEDA is the only national trade association devoted to improving the proficiency of material handling equipment distributors.

In practical terms, MHEDA is a source of education, networking and other industry resources designed to improve business practices for professionals involved with material handling equipment distributors. Whether you are in executive leadership, sales, marketing, operations, administration or a young, emerging professional, there are a variety of programs available to help you navigate the challenging times we are all facing.

One of the cornerstones of MHEDA is education and training. Live seminars, online/on-demand training and Webinars are just a few educational tools available to keep you and your employees operationally fit. This year, MHEDA will offer more than 70 affordable training opportunities, some at no charge, on topics such as service skills improvement, marketing and Web site optimization and sales training.

If you are faced with a business challenge, and you’re not sure where to turn, MHEDA can help. MHEDA was founded on one premise: members helping members. This is done through structured networking forums like MHEDA-NET, via the “Ask Your Board” feature in the MHEDA Journal and by accessing the MHEDA member directory.

Have you ever wondered how your organization’s profitability measures up to other companies? Every MHEDA distributor is invited to participate in the annual “Distributor Performance Benchmarking Report” at no charge. The most valuable part of participation is receiving a “Profit Tool-Kit,” a customized report that can be used as a roadmap to improve business operations.

The MHEDA Convention (taking place May 2-6 in Palm Desert, Calif.) offers an opportunity to participate in education, networking and benchmarking all in one place. Plus, it’s a perfect venue to step away and work on your business instead of in it. If you’re trying to forge a new business relationship or strengthen an existing one, a convention is a great venue for suppliers and distributors to connect.

So, if you’re willing to drop a few hundred dollars at a gym in the name of personal fitness, doesn’t it make sense to invest in your company’s health and well being also?

For more information, visit MHEDA on the Web at or call 847-680-3500

Liz Richards is executive vice president of MHEDA. Contact her at [email protected].