With the HARDI Annual Conference behind us and last year’s business in the books, it’s time to take our organizations to new heights this year. Our businesses today are complex customer service platforms that face constant pressure to innovate and excel in service delivery.
Just a few short weeks ago, we capped off another successful Focus Conference series with the Strategic Leadership conference in Newport, Rhode Island. The event was packed full of insights. I’ve already begun to take a closer look at ways to improve that will ultimately add to the profitability line for Meier Supply. Plus, as with all HARDI events, it was an unforgettable time catching up with so many industry friends. It was the perfect way to put a bow on a very successful season.
As we head into the heart of the busy summer season, I can say with a “high degree” of certainty that this is the busiest year I’ve had in a while. So far, I’ve attended three Focus Conferences, the Congressional Fly-In, and a handful of other important industry events and made multiple visits to HARDI headquarters.
With the weather starting to warm up, two things are becoming very evident:
First, I just retired from competitive cycling, and missing out on the races in this beautiful weather really stings (but don’t feel bad for me, feel bad for my bike -- I had to take it out back and shoot it).
Here’s how I know I’ll never make it as a politician: I’m keeping my promises. On the night I became HARDI president, I made a commitment to everyone. I said I believed in the importance of training – specifically HARDI’s training resources – so passionately that I was going to start calling members who aren’t taking advantage of this monumental opportunity in HARDI’s repertoire.
First and foremost, let me tell you what an honor it is to serve as your HARDI president. I have watched for years as men have taken on this esteemed role with pride and I am now lucky enough to share that privilege. Like so many of you, I come from an established family business and I am particularly proud to give back to the industry that has been such a focal point of Meier Supply and my family’s history.
Back in January, I made a commitment to HARDI members to make real progress moving beyond the traditional frictions that can occur between distributors and manufacturers – to help manufacturers grow through their wholesale distribution partners as opposed to other channels.
Before I dig into my thoughts this month, I want to thank my wife Jen for bearing with me through my many commitments this year as HARDI’s president. She didn’t sign up for months of jet lag or weeks away from our home, but she has stood by my side through it all because she knows it’s important to me.
In one of my last letters, I discussed the need to attract talent to our industry. I solicited feedback from you, HARDI members and readers. Since then, I’ve had a few conversations with members who offered tips.