The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Associations Face Value Challenges

Distribution associations, like most of their members, have been challenged to redefine and focus the value they deliver. Many associations have initiated a strategic planning process to address shrinking membership and participation due to industry consolidation, as well as new competition in the form of marketing groups and other alternate education resources, including trade publications.
 
I recently attended the Fluid Power Distributors Association (FPDA) annual meeting, where they unveiled the results of a three-year strategic planning process. The fluid power industry has been particularly challenged as new electro-mechanical technologies have rapidly developed. In a nutshell, they are aiming to elevate the networking and education value the association can offer, while ...

Distribution associations, like most of their members, have been challenged to redefine and focus the value they deliver. Many associations have initiated a strategic planning process to address shrinking membership and participation due to industry consolidation, as well as new competition in the form of marketing groups and other alternate education resources, including trade publications.
 
I recently attended the Fluid Power Distributors Association (FPDA) annual meeting, where they unveiled the results of a three-year strategic planning process. The fluid power industry has been particularly challenged as new electro-mechanical technologies have rapidly developed. In a nutshell, they are aiming to elevate the networking and education value the association can offer, while at the same time embracing a broader range of product technologies in motion control and automation. I think they will be successful because they worked hard to gain clarity about where their core strengths lie, and how best to leverage those strengths in the future to build value.
 
FPDA is beefing up its value as an educator by starting a technical certification program, to offer members a training tool for their employees and help them differentiate their expertise in the marketplace as certified professionals. It is strengthening the opportunities and quality of networking the association provides. Initiatives include: online networking tools, a formal mentoring program, and revising meeting formats to offer more networking time.
 
This process is familiar to all distribution executives involved with association leadership. Connecting members and professional development has always been part of most association missions. Nearly every association is reinventing itself -by necessity -as members focus their limited time and resources where they have the best payback. Just providing a nice venue for manufacturers and distributors to network isn’t enough. There has to be a clear vision of value and ROI. FPDA is not trying to boil the ocean. It is refocusing on how to fill specific needs to best address the new future of our industry,”as FPDA phrased it in their strategic planning. I wish them the best.”

About the Author
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to MDM’s Privacy Policy.

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events

2

articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

1

article
left

You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.