Three Common Threads

By Mike Bates, CEM, 2009–2010 AEMP National President | September 28, 2010


Mike Bates, CEM

I don't mind claiming that AEMP equipment managers are the best of the best. Perhaps, as AEMP National President, I am biased. Nonetheless, it really is no surprise to me that many AEMP member fleets are thriving, even in this bad economy. We have some members buying machines to keep up with the demand they're seeing. And wherever demand has softened, our members are fearlessly reviewing their business models. But why are some fleet managers buying machines and investing in the future when others are hunkering down, or worse yet, closing their doors?

Over this past year, I've observed many successful companies and fleets that seem to have three things in common.

They have the right connections. AEMP recognizes that access to the right connections is more important than ever in this tough economy. Knowing that a team of 800-plus industry professionals is on your side can take you far; and in times like these, that is critical to success. If you want to be successful in this market, you need to make sure you have the right connections and people on your side. Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand.

AEMP realizes that some of our own members have been laid off. But be assured you have a group of industry professionals on your side. We encourage struggling members to give headquarters a call and notify them of their situation. If you lose your job, AEMP will defer your renewal dues and keep you as a member of the association until you get back on your feet. We will keep our eyes open for any job openings and help you access the AEMP member job bank. Since education gives an edge when it comes to applying for jobs, we offer a limited number of Equipment Manager Scholarships in which qualifying individuals can receive discounted or complimentary registration to an AEMP conference.

They have an inherent understanding of the Equipment Triangle. As I mentioned above, connections are important in times like these. It is important for end-users to see manufacturers and distributors as partners. The AEMP Equipment Triangle is a good way to look at it: as OEMs and distributors shift their business models from sales to service, they are providing end-users with new tools to survive: service on existing equipment, education on emissions issues, fleet mix, and much more. All sides of the triangle must connect or the whole thing will fall apart. AEMP provides an ideal forum for all sides of the triangle to connect.

AEMP has taken this time to strengthen some of our relationships as well. Sister organizations such as the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Associated Equipment Distributors give us new ideas and help us provide you with the critical tools you need.

They stay educated, innovative, and invest in the future and the latest technology. Competition is difficult when you are running equipment and technology that was developed decades ago. In today's high-stakes economy, you need high-quality equipment and technology that lets you handle anything you're dealt. If your company is not utilizing the technology available today, you can be assured your competition will be.

Some companies are taking this time to make changes that position them for the inevitable economic upswing. Weaker competition is being weeded out; equipment is available and affordable, and it's an employers' market. Equipment managers are being sent to AEMP meetings to take advantage of our educational offerings. Successful companies are taking this time to invest in the future. There has never been a better time to get the tools you need to start preparation for the economic turnaround.

If you'd like to know more about how AEMP has helped give equipment managers the tools they need to see their way through the recession, please give headquarters a call. AEMP is happy to share our successes and help you grow your company through networking, education, and keeping up to date with the latest technology.