Critical Impact Factors for 2015

In December 13, 2014

Are You Prepared?

Material handling professionals must be ready to address the factors that will impact their organizations in the upcoming year. To help, the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) has developed a list of what they deem the industry’s most Critical Impact Factors. If these 13 trends and challenges for 2015 have not been addressed in your organizational goals and action steps, they should be.

  1. You should evaluate and potentially modify their business model to address the significant and ongoing growth in automation.
  1. There is a long term trend toward more local and regional distribution centers. This is driven in large part by evolving consumer demands and expectations for same-day delivery. Customers are responding by focusing on Omni Channel Fulfillment. As a result, there are new and emerging opportunities to provide solutions to the customer.
  1. You must be committed to embracing a changing work culture, specifically understanding how the younger generation requires more flexibility and is motivated differently. The workplace culture may impact a younger employee’s willingness to stay in place long term.
  1. The industry is facing a shortage of skilled labor and this trend will continue as existing employees retire. Additionally, skill sets for technicians in all industry segments are changing with increasing reliance on systems and software diagnostic tools.
  1. Succession planning is critical not only for the dealer principal but also for key managers and senior executives. Companies adopted lean organizational structures during the recession and as a result, internal successors may not currently be in place.
  1. More so than ever before, it is critical for an organization to retain their top performers. Processes need to be in place to develop and motivate existing employees.
  1. There is a continued trend toward consolidation including factory-owned distributors as well as the acquisition of systems integrators within the industrial truck industry.
  1. Consultants and third party management companies are continuing to target and market to end users for equipment acquisition, service, maintenance and fleet management. This is a competitive threat to the traditional distributor.
  1. Safety compliance and government regulations are becoming more complex with stricter enforcement. This can be very costly and challenging for the company but can also provide opportunities for distributors to educate and provide services to the end user.
  2. Online sales of material handling equipment have led to commoditization of some distributor offerings. Therefore, distributors need an even deeper understanding of a customer’s business and need to establish a value-added, ROI, service-focused relationship.
  3. You need to be better educated on the benefits of digital marketing in particular, the correlation between social media and search engine ranking.
  4. The industry may be facing an inflationary environment within the next 3-5 years and members need to understand and be prepared to operate their businesses during these conditions.
  5. Fluctuating costs and regulatory complexities of health care insurance, especially those related to the ACA, continues to impact companies and must be closely monitored.

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