They're Looking for HelpBy Matt Di Iorio
Article Date: 04-01-2005
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Contractors are looking for partners that are looking out for their best interests.
Equipment shows afford me the opportunity to catch up with friends I once served during my life as a dealer. They also allow me to meet those I wish I had served when I was a dealer. In much the same way, equipment industry leaders participate in AED programs and the most progressive contractors attend AEMP (Association of Equipment Management Professionals) events - particularly those heavily involved in purchasing, leasing, renting, or maintaining equipment, otherwise known as asset management.
At a recent AEMP meeting, the contractors I met not only hold the purse strings on asset-related expenditures, many also hedge fuel prices on the futures market, handle like-kind exchanges of equipment for tax purposes, deal with EPA non-attainment area issues, and are actively involved in job estimating.
Although a considerable number of AEMP members manage fleets valued at $100 million or more, small and medium-size contractors and governmental entities are represented as well. Regardless of size, everyone is dealing with unprecedented change and complexity, and they're looking for help.
"Contractors are looking for partners that share their values," says Greg Kittle, AEMP president. "We need dealers that are looking out for our best interests. A successful business relationship is built on mutual trust."
Kittle is an outspoken advocate of AEMP's "Equipment Triangle," a visual representation of the interdependent relationship between the end user, dealer and manufacturer. He believes knowing and understanding the roles of these three stakeholders is key.
"Contractors must assure equipment is maintained in accordance with OEM specifications and operate responsibly," he says. "Dealers must have appropriate inventory and trained technicians when and where we need them, and OEM's are responsible for product design, quality and the ability to deal with root-causes where untimely failure occurs."
AEMP is committed to promoting the following Standards of Ethical Conduct:
As Thomas Watson once said, "The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer."
- Honesty, fairness and integrity
- Open, candid communications
- Mutual respect and trust for each individual and company
- Proactive dispute resolution
- Promising only what can be delivered
- Refusing to offer or accept gifts, favors, or entertainment that obligates or appears to obligate me to act in any way contrary to ethical business practices
- Proper management of confidential and/or proprietary information as it applies to each unique business relationship
- Refusing to engage in negative communications either privately or publicly that disparage other individuals or entities of the triangle
- Obeying all applicable laws
- Encouraging all businesses within [my] sphere of influence to adopt these principles
If you and your people, suppliers and customers share similar values, you'll do what it takes to grow instinctively.
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