MHEDA Connection
March 15, 2016
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The Personal Side of Business

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When I was in high school and college, I worked part-time at a popular grocery store in the Northeast called Wegmans. Those of you who are from the Northeast, or who have visited, will be very familiar with Wegmans. It has been named one of the 100 Best Companies to work for by Fortune magazine every single year since the first list in 1998. This year, a Nielsen poll ranked Wegmans the firm with the best corporate reputation, unseating Amazon.

My parents shopped at Wegmans my entire life and I always had one close to me. It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized that Wegmans wasn’t a typical grocery store. My friends from out of state would drop their stuff at their dorm and immediately head to Wegmans like it was Disney Land or something. Buzzfeed started writing breathless articles about it with titles like "25 Reasons Wegmans is the Greatest Supermarket the World Will Ever Know" and "21 Reasons You Should Join the Wegmans Cult." To me, even after having shopped there and worked there, it was a nice grocery store. But for people who didn’t always have it available at a moment’s notice, it might as well have been El Dorado. 

After I graduated college, I started writing for The MHEDA Journal. I had no real-world business experience. I assumed that for a business to be successful, it had to have the best products or the lowest prices. Preferably both. What I learned very quickly, however, is that what customers value even more than the brand or the price is the feeling of trust that MHEDA members instill. Our members are more than just order takers. They are genuine partners with both the end-user and their suppliers and from those partnerships spring the kind of innovative solutions that keep MHEDA members at the top of the industry.

It’s no accident that last year’s Convention theme was "Culture That Rocks" and this year’s is "Passion with Purpose." That is the way business is heading. Customers and potential job seekers alike are looking beyond the typical factors like price, brand, salary and vacation. Now, more than ever, they are interested in things like company culture and community service. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, not simply place an order or punch a time clock. 

Those ideals are reflected in this year’s speaker lineup. On page 34, Major Dan Rooney of the United States Air Force and MHEDA Convention Keynote Speaker, details how teamwork and personal accountability are keys to unlocking success both personally and professionally.

"Personal accountability comes ultimately by using our talents to have a positive impact on our families, coworkers, community and the world around us and by having the courage and the faith to listen to what is in our heart and take that step forward," he says.

That message is echoed by Convention Speaker Chris Bashinelli, who on page 37 says, "The people that I’ve seen that are the most successful, both in business and in life, are the people that genuinely care about others and do their best on a daily basis to find out what their skills are, or what they have access to, that they can use to benefit their communities."

MHEDA members, by and large, represent the best brands in the material handling industry. But a lot of dealers represent great brands. What sets our members apart is their culture and willingness to go the extra mile for the customer to make sure that the solution is the right fit. Not just the easy sale.

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Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
201 US Hwy 45, Vernon Hills, IL 60061-2398
Phone: 847.680.3500 FAX: 847.362.6989
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