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December 2017
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A world of constant change
Garry Bartecki
Garry Bartecki

Does it not seem that way to you? To me it does because every month when I read through Forbes I wind up saying "I'll be damned...." or  "Look at what these kids have put together" least 10 times per issue.  If you do not read Forbes I suggest you get a copy to review and tell me how many times you said "I'll be damned...."  I guarantee it is going to happen.

I read at least ten publications a month and usually make notes of topics or ideas that would be on interest to the material handling industry. This month I also came across an email from AEMP for their upcoming Equipment Shift event in Memphis on October 26-27. It deals mostly with construction equipment but you know how it goes.....if the construction and rental industries are using it long can it be before it is on your plate.

The most interesting articles I read this month concern the use of robots and the Internet of Things (IoT).  What they seem to say is that the battle for where manufacturing takes place is over because there is no longer a payroll difference issue because robots now complete most the process. And it went on to say that distribution is where it is at now with systems to automate the distribution process the next big hurdle to conquer. How does this impact does because the cheapest energy cost in the world is in the US and thus to reduce manufacturing cost it is prudent to move manufacturing back to the States.  And if manufacturing increases there will be a need for more material handling equipment and distribution centers to process orders and to move inventory. So ultimately the material handling business should see activity improve and along with it the need to build and service distribution systems. I know you have the first part covered ....but how about the IoT regarding distribution functions.  Opportunity knocks.

Now back to AEMP.

AEMP is an association of Equipment Management Professionals.  Equipment managers for contractors, OEM's, rental managers and service providers make up most of the membership. What is neat about it is the ability to meet and converse with end users to see how they are reacting to the IoT, digital solutions and telematics. I encourage all of you to review the Schedule of Events for the October event because, quite frankly, I believe your C-level folks would benefit from the presentations at this conference.  I picked five "must go to" events being presented by Sunbelt, Richie Bros and others covering The Latest Efficiencies in Automating Shop Processes and The Future of Equipment Remarketing, respectively,  In addition there are two session on telematics, which for this group is a big deal because contractors have to be comfortable that the data they are receiving is reducing cost and downtime.

My "I’ll be damned”AEMP moment resulted from reviewing the websites of two companies called TheExchange and EquipmentShare, both kind of related to the IoT and making a presentation at the October event.  TheExchange, is a online, private dealer-only wholesale marketplace for the global trade of heavy equipment.  After reviewing the website I believe this program can be successful and help dealer members find or move used units faster. The second member of this group is called EquipmentShare, which is a peer-to-peer construction equipment marketplace for companies looking to borrow (rent) affordable equipment while allowing other equipment owners to rent out their idle or dormant units. EquipmentShare takes care of logistics, including delivery, maintenance and insurance.  Very interesting indeed. Again, I suggest you review the website to see how they plan to make this a win-win situation.

One last winner for this month which I hope you will review when you get a chance. A number of dealers (all sizes) are working with a company called Winsby.  It is really a cost-effective program that delivers meaningful results that will produce increased recognition in your market, more interest from current and potential customers, growth in new customers, a higher retention rate and more loyalty towards your company.  I know the companies that are using them and also know they wouldn't be doing so if it wasn't working. 

Garry Bartecki is a CPA MBA with GB Financial Services LLC. E-mail to contact Garry.