It All Begins with a Good Plan - From the Chairman
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: From the Chairman

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It All Begins with a Good Plan

By Dennis Vander Molen

Article Date: 02-01-2010
Copyright(C) 2010 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Whether it’s your business, your personnel or yourself, things get better when they’re aligned with how they’re designed.

February is the beginning of a new project that will come across my desk for the remaining months of this year: Writing for CED magazine. While these articles may not provide you with the answers to the various issues of the day, it’s my hope that as you read this page of CED each month, maybe I can encourage you to reflect on some bigger subjects that we all approach in the industry we serve.
To begin, I’d like to challenge you to spend some time thinking about the concept of design. All things that have meaning and value have one thing in common: They all have a design.
Many of us just returned from the first AED Summit of the decade. AED staff worked for weeks and months in the design and execution of delivering the formula for a very important event during a very important time in our industry.
And of course we know how much design goes into the equipment that we sell and support each day. Whether they’re used for jobs large or small, each one serves a purpose: To deliver a solution to our customer’s problem. Whatever machine or service we sell, our customers depend on its design to support their business model and support their families and homes.
Back in my earlier life, I worked in the engineering department for our manufacturer. Back then, it was really called the experimental room. There I had the opportunity to help in the design of a new machine. It didn’t make it, but what a great experience to work out the details in each and every part, each with its purpose, and each made correctly. Most of the pro-ducts we sell and service are in continuous design, constantly improving.
We all have the opportunity to look at our own continuous improvement and that of our businesses. And in fact, our businesses also have their design, some of them of our very own making and others that continuously evolve to meet the goals and plans set out by our managers. Where are you getting the ideas and the development to identify critical themes in your design?
You also have a design – a design with purpose. Do you know what that purpose is, and how do you live it out? And how do you enable the people that work in your company to live out their design? Their design can be lived out in their work, community, family, and faith. I encourage you, as this year begins, to look at the bigger picture around you, the design of what’s in your life and your business, especially those things over which you have some influence.
A final thought with which I’ll leave you is certainly something that is within your power to influence – and that is the views of your elected officials in Washington, D.C. Work is already being done on designing the two-day Government Affairs Conference for AED member principals. If you have never experienced this adventure, this year would be a great year to start, and if you have in the past, let’s do it again! Our industry is in the most challenging times we have seen in our lifetime. You can make a difference if you become involved. Mark your calendars for April 14-15.

Please contact me any time. I can be reached at

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