Deliver More Then They Expect - On The Number
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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SECTION: On The Number

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Deliver More Then They Expect


Article Date: 09-04-2006
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Your job and AED's.

I recently returned from AED's summer Board Meeting. A portion of the meeting was in the hands of a facilitator, who put the Board through a strategic planning process. He'd surveyed AED members, including the Board. It was an intensive exercise and I was impressed with the efforts made by all who participated in the survey. I was surprised by some of the comments I heard and suggestions I don't believe I would have heard seven to 10 years ago.

After sifting through the materials and my notes to try and zero in on a title for this month's column, I decided the meeting could be summarized by the directive to "deliver more then they expect." If we do, AED's retention rate among dealers should remain strong with dealers more supportive of AED efforts.

One thing we all know is that the dealer of the future is not going to be the same as it is today. Relationships with manufacturers will change, the type of people required to manage a dealership will change, a new generation of "connected" people will be on the scene, the Internet will have more impact on the sales effort, training requirements will be different, lean concepts will be implemented to gain technician proficiency, new foreign manufacturers will be on the scene, and management in general will need to be more professional. Hey, who said it was going to be easy!

One of the challenges AED has is providing members with services and products that save them money to make membership worthwhile even if the members don't participate in AED activities. It's a tall order, but one that is in the works on many fronts.

AED has the ability to become a clearing house for AED members, addressing management needs in a professional, industry specific manner at a reasonable cost.

Through alliance and preferred provider programs, more hands-on dealer services, national purchasing programs, and maybe even insurance programs, AED is working to provide an enhanced value proposition for members.

To give you a feel for the types of services and products being suggested by the Board, here is a list of some of the items discussed:

  • Multi-lingual training programs
  • Safety and environmental training and services
  • "Lean" and "Six Sigma" training and implementation
  • New insurance products and services
  • National buying groups
  • Valuation, succession planning and ownership transfer capital
Even after we add new products and services for members, AED has to work with dealers and manufacturers on common issues, promote the dealer distribution channel to manufacturers, offer products to both small and large dealers, help recruit and train the next generation of technicians, expand training for CFO and IT professionals,
keep up PAC activities, especially in Washington D.C., deal with IRS issues as they arise and, in general, be the industry clearing house for management and industry issues.

Of course, other issues were discussed. The ones I'm interested in are the ones that will make you money.

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Article Categories:  Financial