In-Depth Workshop Provides Survival Methods in the 'New Normal' - Inside AED
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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In-Depth Workshop Provides Survival Methods in the 'New Normal'

CED Magazine, December 2009

Article Date: 12-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

To help dealers successfully lead in their markets through another rocky year, AED Summit rolls out a practical and interactive strategic planning program designed for dealer executives.

The word strategy usually makes the hair stand up on the necks of most dealers and distributors. But the sharply deteriorated landscape of the equipment industry demands a serious investigation of strategy that fits the dealer's market realities today, as well as the dealer's own resources – which is why AED Summit 2010 in San Antonio presents an in-depth and interactive strategic planning workshop with Michael Marks.

"Dealers are wary of people who talk to them about strategy," said Marks, "because the common models and literature are based on manufacturing and retailing firms that just don't work.

"The program he leads, titled "Creating Competitive Advantage in the New Normal," immediately follows the new Inaugural Breakfast on Friday, Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. A 90-minute executive workshop for dealer principals and senior management team members, the session is based on Marks' new book published by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, "Value Creation Strategies for Wholesaler-Distributors.

"The so-called "new normal" for equipment distribution companies comprises the marked decline of new equipment sales, an increasingly competitive rental arena, and the need for more thoughtfully planned product support sales, among other changes and challenges. Some industry experts look to Q2 of 2010 for even the earliest traces of tangible construction market improvement, which puts the onus on dealer principals to plan and make right decisions for the survival of their businesses.

Marks says that being successful in the new normal will require doing new things, not just doing the same things better. "In every major market shift there will be major gainers of market share at the expense of share losers," he said.

He will share a series of practical insights from his new book on strategy (which he co-authored with his Indian River Consulting Group colleagues Steve Deist and Mike Emerson) – truths that have been tested in the crucible of real life experience. Those who will win, says Marks, will be doing things like:
(A.) Taking responsibility for new business development
(B.) Building scorecards that link service to parts to rental to new sales and used sales.

These linkages are required, he adds, to create dealer alignment around targeted customers and strategy.  While owners and senior executives like the accountability and the alignment within their teams, their challenge as leaders is to be accountable themselves to a clear shareholder vision that is linked to the shared strategy.

"This is the good stuff that will never make the Harvard Business Review," said Marks, "but it really works. No one should miss it."The new AED Summit 2010, Jan. 20-22, is the redesigned annual meeting with a fresh format, increased emphasis on manufacturer presence, and augmented attention to networking, including the new "Hub" and a second evening party with live entertainment. For full details and registration, please visit
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