A message from MHEDA’s 2022 Chairman of the Board:
I am honored to have been chosen to be the Chairman of the Board for MHEDA in 2022. I look forward to helping MHEDA find ways to provide members with additional business resources, leadership training, networking opportunities, industry benchmarking data, career development tools and insight on industry trends.
I joined the MHEDA Board 7 years ago because I wanted to give back to an industry that has provided so many great tools and training programs for our company and our employees. Alliance Material Handling is a 100% employee-owned company (ESOP) so we all truly understand how helpful MHEDA has been during the many challenges and victories that we have all gone through over the years.
I want to talk about two of the most beneficial MHEDA features that have really helped our company grow almost 400% during my time in this industry. First, when I joined Alliance, we were in a financial crisis. The industry was struggling and profits were slim. Fortunately for me, shortly after joining Alliance, the industry came roaring back and profits were soaring (so I thought). For the next two years we saw profits outperform budgets and we were riding a high.
In 2004, I went to my first MHEDA convention and for the first time I discovered the Disc report. After gathering the data, I realized that our soaring profits only put us in the lower percent of dealers in our industry. I spent the next few years gaining an understanding of the key metrics that a dealership must achieve to get to the top 25% of dealerships that participated in the Disc Survey. Once we accomplished this, we created specific manufacturer groups to help create additional models and metrics to improve profits and share best practices amongst our dealerships. Several of these metrics and ideas created opportunities that helped us grow both top line revenue and bottom-line profits. Considering we are a 100% employee-owned company with a goal of significantly improving the retirement plans of all employees, these meetings were critical to helping us achieve that goal.
For those that have not taken part in the Disc Survey, I highly encourage you to participate and see how far you can increase revenue and profits. I would be happy to help anyone work through this model and share the knowledge I have received from past Board Members that really helped me over the years. We call those past Board Members “Legends in our industry.”
I want to thank all of the employees at Alliance, the staff of MHEDA and all of the dealerships that have helped Alliance achieve all the successes we have had over the years. Where would we be without the hard work and dedicated efforts of our employees? Not long ago I asked one of our previous technicians that had retired the day he turned 65 (earlier than planned!) if the ESOP played a significant role in him being able to retire early. He looked me in the eye and said, “I never once thought about the ESOP when I decided to retire.” He followed with “You have to understand how a technician thinks. We wake up every day with one goal in mind and that is to take care of our customers to the best of our abilities. I retired the day I thought others’ abilities were better than mine and it was their turn to protect our customers.” I looked him back in his eyes and told him that is why he was a true hero. We don’t celebrate and recognize the true heroes enough. The everyday worker is the reason why we are all so successful and we should all take the time to recognize them more often. I am often amazed at the incredible things that our employees do, thinking outside of the box and creating a great experience for our customers.
For me, these are the two key reasons that helped me grow and find success for our company. What are your two? I would love to hear your answers so feel free to stop by and see me at any of the MHEDA events in 2022. I look forward to being your Chairman and helping us all shape Tomorrow’s Distributor.
Please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the MHEDA Board of Directors and staff as we embark upon another year together in this wonderful industry that has been so good to all of us.
Thomas Albero, President/CEO
Alliance Material Handling, Inc.