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Re-Cap on MDNA’s 74th Annual Convention- Washington, D.C.

Looking to see what you missed at this year’s convention?  Get the presentation slides, video clips and photos in this Re-Cap of MDNA’s 74th Annual Convention (April 23rd-26th 2015) in Washington, D.C.

READ THE CONVENTION PRESS RELEASE HERE

Programming at Convention:

If you missed the Programming during convention and you are a member of MDNA you can download all of the slides at no charge at this link http://www.mdna.org/member-login/resources/ after you log onto the Member’s Only Back Office.

bb&t wealth logoBB&T Wealth with topics on: Business Transition Planning, Capital
Markets, Equipment Finance
Special Guest Speakers Included:
  • Lindsay Brooke Mannion, Assistant Vice President, Private Financial Advisor LMannion@BBandT.com ■ 770-785-2036
  • Duncan Moseley III, JD, LLM, Vice-President, Wealth Financial Planning Strategist Duncan.Moseley@BBandT.com ■ 404-504-3620
  • Scott Storey, Managing Director, Strategic Advisory Group SStorey@BBandTCM.com ■ 804-782-8731
  • Scott Lackovitch, Senior Vice President, National Sales & Marketing Manager SLackovitvh@BBandT.com ■ 410-427-1984
  • Brant Standridge, Regional President V BJStandridge@BBandT.com ■ 214-234-7730
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Lindsay Brooke Mannion, Duncan Moseley III, Scott Storey, Scott Lackovitch, Brant Standridge
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National Association of Manufacturers with topics on: Tax Legislative Update Spring 2015 Special Guest Speaker, Christina Crooks, Director, Tax Policy (NAM)

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Christina Crooks (NAM) with Mark Robinson, Executive Vice President, MDNA

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Export-Import Bank of the United States- Office of the Inspector General with topics export bankon: Trade Finance & Export Fraud Schemes: Protecting your Business 

Special Guest Speakers Included:

  • Mike McCarthy, Acting Inspector General; 202-565-3169, Mike.McCarthy@exim.gov
  • David Sutkus, Acting Assistant Inspector General for Investigations; 202-565-3921, David.Sutkus@exim.gov
  • REPORT FRAUD, WASTE, & ABUSE/ OIG HOTLINE/ 1-888-OIG-EXIM/ (1-888-644-3946) IGhotline@exim.gov
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Speakers: Mike McCarthy, David Sutkus, with MDNA President, Kim Khoury

Video Coverage from Convention

 

Photos from Convention

To see more photos from the MDNA 74th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. #MDNAConvention visit our FB PAGE

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Sponsors from Convention

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 BidSpotterHighRes  DCC-CIT_Logo new
 CAC logo  Harris_logo_NEW_2013 copy
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chapter logos MDNA chapter logos MDNA
FL SALES TOP LOGO1 Machinery International Corp logo National Machinery Exchange logo

 

yoder logo Wismet-Logo-HI-RES (4) lee stevens logo
surplus record USD logo only 300 FPMLogo_HighRes_large (3) cwwood logo vec
FEDERAL EQUIPMENT LOGO-FA ai yeoman logo Universal
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MDNA WELCOMES NEW PRESIDENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE , MAY 11, 2015

MACHINERY DEALERS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION WELCOMES NEW PRESIDENT at 74TH ANNUAL CONVENTION & BUSINESS MEETING

WASHINGTON, D.C. —– Kim Khoury of member firm Action Machinery, Inc. was elected as the Association’s second female president during MDNA’s 74th Annual Business Meeting & Convention held in Washington, D.C.’s Historic Renaissance Mayflower Hotel April 23-26, 2015.

Notable awards presented during the President’s Banquet included: The MDNA Lifetime Achievement Award going to the Association’s first ever female President (1999-2001) Jeannine Harris, of member firm Harris Machine Tools; The Earl Elman Distinguished Service Award was presented to Kristine Conroy, President of the Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund.

Special guest speakers during the convention’s programming included representatives from BB&T Wealth, speaking on Business Transition Planning, Capital Markets, Equipment Finance; National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) speaking on Tax Legislative Updates; and Export-Import Bank of the United States- The Office of Inspector General speaking on Trade Finance & Export Fraud Schemes: Protecting your Business.

The Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund raised $30,000 during this year’s convention through the annual Ray Roberts Raffle.

Convention Sponsors: Direct Capital Corp., Machinery International Corp., LOCATOR Services, Inc., Young Guns, Liquidity Services, F. L . Sales Inc., National Machinery Exchange, Inc., Surplus Record, BB&T Wealth, Harris Machine Tools, Inc., Charleston Annex Corp. / Asset Sales, Inc., Yoder Machinery Co., Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery, Inc., Bid Spotter, Inc., MDNA Chicago Chapter, AMEA, Prestige Equipment Corp., MDNA Philadelphia Chapter, Action Machinery Co. Inc., C. W. Wood Machinery Inc., Federal Equipment Div./PME Technologies Inc., F. P. Miller Co., Lee Stevens Machinery Inc., Universal Metalworking Equipment Inc., Yeoman Machinery Corporation, A&A Machinery Sales Inc., Clark Machinery Sales, LLC, Centra Corporation, Easton Machinery Inc., FH Machinery, Hildebrand Machinery Co. Inc., JBM Technologies Inc., Norman Machine Tool, Ltd., Quaker City Auctioneers Inc., Weiss Machine (MDNA Premier Vendor), Wm. F. Comly & Son, Inc.

TO SEE PHOTOS:  Visit GALLERY HERE

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FOR PRESS RELATED INQUIRIES: Jennifer Gray, Phone: 703.836.9300 Email: jgray@mdna.org


President's Banquet at the Mayflower Renaissance, DC
President’s Banquet at the Mayflower Renaissance, DC
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President’s Banquet- MDNA President, Kim Khoury, CEA, Action Machinery with father, Tom Khoury, Action Machinery
Kristine Conroy, Machinery International Corp., A. D. LUCAS SCHOLARSHIP FUND PRESIDENT receives The Distinguished Earl Elman Service Award at the 2015 MDNA Convention
Kristine Conroy, Machinery International Corp., A. D. LUCAS SCHOLARSHIP FUND PRESIDENT receives The Distinguished Earl Elman Service Award at the 2015 MDNA Convention
Jeannine Harris of MDNA member firm Harris Machine Tools, Inc. is awarded the MDNA Lifetime Achievement Award at the MDNA 74th Annual Convention 2015
Jeannine Harris of MDNA member firm Harris Machine Tools, Inc. is awarded the MDNA Lifetime Achievement Award at the MDNA 74th Annual Convention 2015
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YOUNG GUNS OF MDNA, MEET WILLIAM

William Culp, CFO, Pearl Equipment Company, AEA, MDNA Southern Regional Chapter Vice Chairman

He’s a good ole southern boy from Tennessee with a finance background and a love for his cattle and the countryside. He’s been working with the family machinery business, Pearl Equipment Company, for the last eight years in strategic planning roles or on the acquisition side of plant deals. In January of 2014, William Culp, AEA, became the CFO and a member of the executive team at Pearl Equipment Company. Not to mention he’s one of MDNA’s Young Guns and he’s also the new MDNA Southern Regional Chapter Vice Chairman.

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William pictured with father Si Culp

As Pearl Equipment Company’s CFO William is charged with leading the finance and accounting division, structuring plant acquisitions and leading the corporate services division. And as a member of the Executive Team he, along with the rest of the team, is responsible for driving sales.

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From 2006 to January 2014, William worked for a Southeast Regional Bank, in their commercial banking division. William says “That experience gave me a lot of insight into different business operations, credit processes, and asset valuations. I had the opportunity to work with a crowd of industrial clients across Tennessee, and also for a time manage the banks Entertainment Banking Group based out of Nashville.

Ive been around the machinery business all my life. My father (Si Culp) has been in the business since the early 70s. When Dad purchased Pearl in 2006 I was excited about the possibilities that it brought to the table since its proven to be a challenge, but certainly a rewarding one. We find ourselves, every day, challenging yesterdays ideals, and learning from our companies past successes and struggles. Pearl has been around since the late 1940s; So, Im very fortunate to have a library of history ‘in house’ that I can look back at for better understanding of our industry.

When William is not at the office, he’s working with his herd of Black Angus cattle at the family farm located on the Tennessee River in southern middle Tennessee. William says I try to spend as much time as possible at our farm. My family loves it out there. We spend summers, holidays and weekends there and its kind of out in the middle of nowhere.

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William, Lucy and their son Henry

William has been married for 8 years to his lovely wife, Lacey and they have a little boy named Henry who turns 2 this May. William say’s I cant begin to express how awesome Henry and his Mom are!

William says “Pearls brand is built on trust, reliability, and long term relationships with our customers, and industry partners. I always catch myself-promoting Pearls longevity in the marketplace as a reason to work with us. But its much more than that. We have the best team in the world working together. We work hard to properly represent the products we sell and to deliver them to market in a manner that gives our customers confidence in the transaction of what they are buying or selling. We treat our customers and partners as if they were one of our own. I think those traits are what has kept our brand thriving, and what will carry us on.

Pearl Equipment Company, headquartered in Nashville, TN, is a traditional stocking dealer of metalworking machinery, since 1947. Pearl primarily deals in stamping, fabrication, grinding, and chip equipment for the metal manufacturing industry. Pearl has a global customer base for both the buy side and sell side of the business. The company is a buyer for complete plant operations to individual pieces of equipment, and provides valuation services for machinery and equipment. The Nashville warehouse facility has 120,000 sq. ft. and is serviced with 50 ton cranes. See equipment below. 

Who are MDNA’s Young Guns? Learn More here


Below is a sample of inventory available for sale at Pearl Equipment Company to view all of their inventory visit them online through any of the links below.

Do forecasts really matter in the manufacturing sector?

By Alan Kelsky via Multibriefs, Monday May 4, 2015

With so many factors in play, forecasting for a wide-ranging field like manufacturing isDo forecasts really matter in the manufacturing sector? never easy. Yet many organizations from the government to the private sector make predictions almost every day. What we see in the results are a variety of expectations — and revisions — for how manufacturing will grow in the coming months and years.

Here is a look at three recent predictions:

1. Bloomberg Business

On Jan. 2, Bloomberg Business ran an article called “Factories in U.S. Expand at a More Sustainable Pace.” This forecast based on:

  • Moderating growth at the end of 2014
  • Adjustment by manufacturers to weaker overseas markets
  • Steady demand from U.S. consumers

Another factor Bloomberg noted was that the weakening demand for manufacturing supplies was due to falling oil prices that would allow manufacturers to get goods and materials for less.

“It’s more of a pause that refreshes than anything to worry about,” said Michael Montgomery, a U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Manufacturing is going to keep expanding. We’ll lose some ground on exports,” though in the U.S., “demand is growing.”

Four months later, the optimism had softened.

Bloomberg Business published a story on April 14 called “Strong Dollar’s Economic Ax to Fall on Small U.S. Exporters.” The story explains how large U.S. multinational companies have the ability to meet the challenges of a strong U.S. dollar, while small exporters do not as they have far fewer products or SKUs that they produce.

The next day, Bloomberg published a new story called “Manufacturing Struggles With U.S. Dollar Rising, Oil Falling.” This article discusses how other than cars, U.S. manufacturing showed no growth in March. Manufacturing did increase 0.01 percent in March, but this was the first advance in four months and does not make up for the February loss of 0.2 percent, according to the Federal Reserve.

“The dollar is a wet blanket on manufacturing,” said Guy Berger, an economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut. “If the dollar remains this strong, we’re going to have headwinds for manufacturing for a while.”

2. MAPI Foundation

In discussing the future of the American economy, the MAPI Foundation developed three key reasons in December 2014 for predicting continued improvement in the economy. They are the fact that manufacturing production is forecast to grow in each of the the next three years:

  • 3.5 percent in 2015
  • 3.9 percent in 2016
  • 3.1 percent in 2017

Job growth will be the primary source of energy to grow our economy, and the growth of investment will come from our natural gas resources and infrastructure, the U.S. transportation infrastructure, the housing supply chain, medical care expansion, increasing consumer confidence and factory automation.

On April 15, just four months after their glowing forecast for the economy in general and manufacturing specifically, MAPI had this to say:

“The manufacturing sector experienced a small 0.1 percent output gain in March after contractions in January and February and zero growth in December. Nonetheless, the short-term picture for the U.S. factory sector is fairly bleak. Manufacturing production fell by 1.2 percent during the first quarter of 2015, the first quarterly contraction in factory sector output since the second quarter of 2009.

“In spite of the modest gain in factory output growth in March, production in key industry sectors such as primary metals, aerospace and furniture contracted. Motor vehicle output did grow by a strong 3.2 percent, but this was on the heels of a 3.6 percent decline in February and more modest contractions in December and January. The sluggish housing rebound is clearly having an impact on manufacturing performance as wood products output has now contracted for three consecutive months and furniture output has contracted in two of the last three months.”

3. NABE

On March 30, the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) altered their December 2014 forecast for 2015 and 2016. The newer report predicts:

  • More hiring, causing the unemployment rate to fall
  • A lower inflation rate
  • Increased growth in consumer spending

Additionally, the March report also forecasts businesses will spend more on both intellectual property and equipment, along with a small increase in stock prices. Also, the report stated that oil prices will stay under $70 per barrel through the end of 2016, which will spur manufacturing growth.

“Healthier consumer spending, housing investment and government spending growth are expected to make outsized contributions to the projected acceleration in overall economic activity. Accordingly, recent labor market strength is expected to continue,” John Silvia, NABE president and the chief economist at Wells Fargo, said in a statement.

The report also had some unwanted news, including:

  • A larger trade deficit
  • Reduced predictions for increasing hourly wages by 0.01 percent from its original forecast of wage growth of 2.5 percent.
  • Lowered company profit forecasts from December’s forecast of 6.7 percent to 4.7 percent.

 

About the Author

Alan Kelsky

Alan Kelsky is a freelance writer with a master’s degree in business administration from Xavier University with a specialty in healthcare management. Alan was formerly a hospital CEO with an active emergency room and was the CEO of an urgent care center in Pompano, Florida. He is also formerly the owner of Electric Control Services. His company worked with manufacturers and commercial building owners by offering energy audits, energy efficiency technology sales, installation and follow-up monitoring.\

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In honor of the 40th Anniversary marking the fall of Saigon- An MDNA member and Veteran reflects

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John Conroy, Machinery International Corporation, Vietnam War Veteran

Posted: April 30, 2015

I was reminded of something driving to work today. Forty years ago today, Lt.(jg) Conroy was Officer of the Deck on the 550 Foot long USS Vancouver (LPD 2) steaming in slow circles in a 2 mile x 2 mile quadrant  off the coast of South Vietnam. My main job was to avoid hitting the USS Enterprise in its quadrant to the north and the USS Hancock to the south. The Captain was below and the ship was all mine.  It was very peaceful.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia- USS Vancouver (LPD-2)

I had the 0800-1200 Watch. About two hours into it, the lookouts reported a strange cloud formation to the west. I stepped out on the bridge wing and looked at it through binoculars with the Junior Officer of the deck, Ensign Griggs. As we watched it got larger and larger and was coming straight for our formation of 50 ships, virtually the entire U.S. Seventh Fleet. Radar confirmed what was now becoming obvious to us. The “cloud” was hundreds of helicopters escaping Saigon and the surrounding area. The orders had been given to “bug out”, and Operation Frequent Wind was officially underway.

For the next 24 hours it was organized chaos as hundreds of helicopters circled over the fleet looking for any open flight deck before they ran out of fuel. The first to land on Vancouver was a South Vietnamese Chinook carrying about 40 refugees. The pilot refused to take off and return to Vietnam. The flight deck crew asked me for instructions. I told them to put the pilot on the radio. I told him there was a large barge adrift about a mile to the east and to land over there and I would send a boat to pick him up. He agreed and took off.

Soon we were overwhelmed with helicopters of all shapes and sizes. The orders were given to start rolling them off the side of the ship as soon as they were emptied to make room for others that were hovering waiting for any open deck. The only ones we kept were the blue and white ones.They were Air America, the CIA’s Air Force, and contained the latest top secret electronics that the Russians would have loved to fish out of the Tonkin Gulf after we had left.

Our crew of 360 sailors and 800 marines were pretty much overwhelmed for the next 24 hours. Vancouver took on over 2,200 refugees that day – everything from mothers with children to South Vietnamese generals with suitcases filled with gold. (We confiscated those as per orders of the Admiral) Anyone not on watch helped out. The entire inside portion of Vancouver is a hollowed out football field where we keep the marine’s landing craft and can flood it to launch them. It became our triage center, freeing the flight deck up for the helicopters. By nightfall it looked like the railroad yard scene in “Gone with the Wind” when Sherman was entering Atlanta.

After very little sleep I came back on watch as Officer of the Deck for the 0400-0800 watch. It was dark, the ship was quiet, and I felt the awesome responsibility of being in charge of an 8600 Ton Ship carrying 360 sailors, 800 marines, and now 2200 refugees.

As the sun rose I looked to the east and saw, to my chagrin, a floating barge adrift with the outline of a Chinook helicopter and a very tired pilot still waving his arms. In the chaos of the morning earlier I had completely forgotten to launch a boat to pick him up. Boy was I embarrassed. I immediately ordered a boat to pick him up, a hot meal to be ready for him, and directed that he be brought to the bridge. When he arrived I couldn’t even get in an apology as he hugged me and said he was just happy to be alive.

We arrived in Subic Bay in the Philippines a few days later with our precious cargo.

Forty years ago today.

-John Conroy

The MDNA is proud of all the men and woman that have served or are currently serving in our great country.

 

 

Photo Credit: Credit Source :	http://de.academic.ru/dic.nsf/dewiki/1490338

22 Fun Things to do in D.C. during MDNA Convention!

22 Fun Things to do in D.C. when your not busy during the‪ #‎MDNAConvention‬ this week!

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Visit places like the Lincoln Memorial, Library of Congress, Arlington National Cemetery, National Archives, Supreme Court, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, National Portrait Gallery, and walk the National Mall.

Check out performances at the famous Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company and National Theatre.

Photo Credit: Credit Source :http://de.academic.ru/dic.nsf/dewiki/1490338
Credit Source : http://de.academic.ru/dic.nsf/dewiki/1490338

Indulge your taste buds by visiting restaurants like Old Ebbitt Grill (the oldest restaurant in DC) or the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl (A favorite of Bill Cosby and Barack Obama) or check out a new hotspot like Le Diplomate in Logan Circle for a France-inspired atmosphere.

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You can’t come to D.C. without a trip over to Georgetown, a historic neighborhood, commercial, and entertainment district located in the upper northwest of Washington, D.C., situated along the Potomac River that’s full of beautiful sites to take in, the best shopping, waterfront dining and people watching.

Outdoor attraction musts in the spring include seeing the beautiful Cherry Blossoms, or a local favorite is strolling Eastern Market on Capitol Hill to browse the work of local artisans and sample farm-fresh produce and concoctions. Take in the city by Kayak, canoe, or boat while cruising down the Potomac River. Or for a scenic hike out of the city take a short drive to the nearby Great Falls.

And while you are out there having fun don’t forget to use our event hashtag!

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MDNA RECEIVES GENEROUS CONVENTION SPONSORSHIP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 13, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Machinery Dealers National Association recognizes the MDNA Philadelphia Chapter  for their generous contribution for this year’s upcoming 74th Annual Convention & Business Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Philadelphia Chapter has made this contribution in honor of and in anticipation for the incoming MDNA President (one of their own Philadelphia Chapter members).  Please join us in thanking them for their contribution that will ensure that the 2015 Washington D.C. Convention is a fantastic tribute to the incoming President.

This sponsorship money will go towards making this Convention more affordable for all members of this Association.  MDNA hopes that by recognizing this chapter it provides a visible acknowledgement of the importance that their contributions have made on our Association and its members.

The MDNA thanks the Philadelphia Chapter for their support!

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Supporting Philadelphia Chapter Members

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A&A Machinery Sales Inc.

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Action Machinery Co. Inc.

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Clark Machinery Sales, LLC

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Centra Corporation

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Easton Machinery Inc.

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FH Machinery

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Hildebrand Machinery Co. Inc.

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JBM Technologies Inc.

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Norman Machine Tool, Ltd.

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Quaker City Auctioneers Inc.

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Weiss Machine (MDNA Premier Vendor)

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Wm. F. Comly & Son, Inc.

 


About the MDNA Convention: MDNA’s 74TH Annual Convention & Business Meeting is scheduled to take place on April 23rd- 26th, 2015 at The Historic Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC, Hotel. The MDNA Convention is open to MDNA members, MDNA Premier Vendors, sponsors – and invited guests who have not attended an MDNA function in the last five years. LEARN MORE ABOUT CONVENTION HERE

 

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FOR PRESS RELATED INQUIRIES:

Jennifer Gray, Marketing Director

Phone: 703.836.9300 Email: jgray@mdna.org

 

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MDNA and Direct Capital: A Well-Tooled Relationship

A special message from Direct Capital (MDNA Premier Vendor) to MDNA members…

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Direct Capital’s relationship with the MDNA goes way back.

Since 2005, Direct Capital has been the company most MDNA dealers have turned to when their customers have needed financing. A decade later, our relationship is still going strong. We are proud to have been designated one of the first Premier Vendor’s in 2013.

But in that time, things have changed. Like every relationship, after a while the status quo doesn’t suffice. We wanted to be something more; we wanted to give more. So we came up with a solution.

MDNA partners, don’t worry. You’re still getting the same great offers – 2% referrals on deals generated, 100% pre-funding with payments before shipping, and application only (no financial review) up to $250K. Except now we’ve made our leasing program even better.

Having exclusive offers for MDNA partners is something we’re proud of, but so is our new digital lending platform. Whether you are a proficient iPhone and tablet user, or someone who just casually checks out Internet Explorer now and again, we guarantee our technology will work for you. And here’s why:

Technology that Works for You and Your Customers

  1. Access a Quote Tool: You want to sell a payment, not a full price, and our quote tool allows you to do just that. Show your customer what their monthly payment could be right from our platform. Or, send it to them in an email.
  2. It’s Fast and Easy: You don’t have to be technologically-savvy to understand and use our lending platform. Our online application takes only 3 minutes to complete, and your customers can receive approvals in as little as 30 seconds.
  3. Track Your Deals: Once the application is submitted, you can track your customer through each stage of the financing journey.
  4. We Offer Training: We understand ease of use means something different to everyone, which is why we offer training and support to all of our MDNA partners.

At the end of the day, your goal and our goal is the same: to connect buyers to payment solutions that help move the machine. You want your customers to buy from you, and so do we.

As a dealer, there are few things worse than customers telling you “no” because they can’t afford the machine. Leasing, and doing so with streamlined quoting and approval technology, gives them an offer that’s hard to pass up.

There’s no other way to say it: integrating your sales process with our technology will help you close deals.  We offer flexible programs that can meet any business need and we make it easy for everyone to use.  With our technology, dedicated team of lease professionals, and industry expertise on your side, the next 10 years we spend together will be just as strong.

5 ways to improve employee engagement

Written By Michael J. Berens via Multibriefs

Companies worldwide are grappling with how to increase employee engagement. It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, employee disengagement costs the economy as much as $500 billion per year.5 ways to improve employee engagement

A 2013 Gallup study of the global workplace involving 25 million employees in 142 countries found only 13 percent of workers rated themselves as engaged, and thus likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations.

Just recently, Deloitte released the results of its 2015 Global Human Capital Trends survey of more than 3,300 organizations in 106 countries, in which 8 in 10 respondents cited organizational culture and engagement as the most critical issue in their organization.

Many factors contribute to employees’ sense of disengagement, including organizational culture (whether it’s empowering, open, collaborative), leadership (whether it’s communicative, responsive, inclusive, tolerant), opportunity for advancement, work/life balance and level and quality of performance feedback.

In addition, several recent studies demonstrate that the workplace environment can have a profound effect on engagement.

A study commissioned by office furniture manufacturer Steelcase of 10,500 workers in 14 countries discovered that “employees who are highly satisfied with the places they work are also the most highly engaged.” On the other hand, employees who said they felt disengaged felt their work environments were not supportive.

The vast majority of disengaged workers said their work environments do not allow them to concentrate easily (85 percent), feel relaxed or calm (84 percent), allow them to choose where to work to accomplish a particular task (86 percent) or accommodate mobile workers (79 percent). Two-thirds said it was important to have a place to socialize and have relaxed, social conversations with their co-workers.

Commercial supplier Herman Miller conducted research at 15 companies in the U.S., U.K., Australia and India on the role of the physical environment in workplace collaboration. They found that highly collaborative firms, especially those with higher ratios of collaborative spaces to individual workspaces, had high levels of worker engagement and innovation.

Similarly, a team of Boston researchers studying informal network structures in organizationsfound that workplace design affected employees’ levels of communication, interaction and information sharing.

Together, these studies reveal five key strategies to improve engagement through workplace design:

1. Position employees who need to share information in close proximity to one another.The Herman Miller researchers found that 70 percent of collaborations happen at the desk. The Boston team observed that “employees seated far away from each other were less likely to exchange email” or engage in face-to-face communications.

2. Allow flexible seating arrangements. The Boston team reported that “workers who were encouraged to utilize flexible seating arrangements in a remodeled space had a higher proportion of face-to-face interactions with colleagues outside of their team.” Herman Miller’s researchers discovered a trend toward more open and flexible office environments, including the use of unassigned workstations.

3. Provide a variety of collaborative spaces. Today’s work and work culture require many different ways of engaging and collaborating. Giving employees the right tool for the job — in this case, the right type of space to support collaboration — encourages interaction, innovation and productivity.

4. Offer spaces for casual conversations and socializing. Strengthening relationships is crucial for building trust, which in turn increases information sharing and collaboration, as well as a sense of belonging to the company — a key factor in fostering engagement.

5. Protect privacy. Being able to work without distractions and interruptions, whether alone or as part of a team, ranks high on employees’ descriptions of a supportive workplace. Give employees enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces where they can engage without creating or being subject to noise pollution.

Changing the physical environment has not only practical implications but also symbolic ones. As the Boston researchers point out, “informal tools, such as office layouts, group lunches and chats by the coffee machine, are the management tools of tomorrow as the informal relationship that they enable becomes more and more meaningful than hierarchical formal procedures.”

Companies want more engaged employees, but employees need to interact and bond with one another to feel more engaged in their companies. Redesigning the workplace to encourage those behaviors signals a culture change and will act as a catalyst to change the culture.


Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens is a freelance researcher and writer with more than 30 years of experience in association communication and management. He can be reached at mjberens@mjberensresearch.net.

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Young Guns of MDNA, Meet Carl Davis

He is one of the MDNA’s newest members—just joining in January of 2015. An ambitious, young, marketing, tech-savvy, machinery dealing entrepreneur, Carl Davis, is the founder of the new Georgia base industrial equipment company, The Equipment Hub and we know he’ll be bringing some fresh energy into this Association with his background.

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Carl Davis with wife Heather

Carl says “I started The Equipment Hub in the winter of 2011.  I’ve had an innovative, entrepreneur spirit my whole life that stems from my passion of solving problems and creating new products or processes. Prior to starting the company I had a number of side businesses. The initial spark in creating the flame of The Equipment Hub was the introduction of eBay to my life.  When I was 15 years old I started using eBay to sell anything and everything I could get my hands on.  Fast forward to the age of 25. I was working with a chemical manufacturer and had the opportunity to help sell some surplus machinery.  To my astonishment I sold an old and obsolete machine relatively quick and for a good amount of money through eBay.  This is when I realized two things:  the internet was a powerful vehicle to moving machinery and most manufacturers had some old piece of machinery sitting around that they just wanted to get rid of.”

Not long after founding The Equipment Hub in December 2011 Carl’s brother & now business partner Mark joined to help grow the company.  “Since the beginning my brother and I have worked our butts off to achieve success.  When we initially started up we had little machine experience.  Because of this we had to rely on skills I had developed throughout my life; HTML code writing, Photoshop, video and photo work, SEO optimization and Internet marketing with a touch of creativity.  Our pitch was on effective equipment marketing not machine knowledge.”  

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Carl with business partner/brother Mark

In the beginning Mark and Carl worked from home.  Carl remembers going out to various types of manufacturers, pitching to them that they could broker their surplus and bring them a return on their idle assets.  After doing this for a while they realized they were missing out on greater opportunities because they didn’t have the ability to store machinery that many companies preferred to sell to them.

In September of 2012 Carl and his brother Mark made their first big step by mustering the courage to get their own place.  Carl candidly says “Scared s*****ss we signed a one-year lease on a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse.  From there we both took out $10,000 each from our personal funds to start buying and selling machinery.”   Carl took on the role of acquisitions while Mark took on the role of cleaning, testing and listing the newly acquired machines. Shortly after signing the lease the two closed on their first deal, buying $4500 worth of machinery, which later sold for around $15,000.

Carl recalls “Our first big break came when we were introduced to two brothers in their 80s.  They were machinery dealers just south of Atlanta that essentially had a stale business.  The way they said it was ‘all their customers had either died or were retired.’ They had about $150,000 of metalworking machinery that they couldn’t sell anymore.  Long story short, we sold all their machinery (about 75 machines) in 6 months.”

The duo had become known as the “Internet Guys.” As their reputation started to quickly spread in January of 2013 they had a similar experience happen with another machinery dealer.  This dealer needed the “Internet Guys” to help market and sell his idle inventory.  After moving his inventory in record time, the duo started buying out whole facilities together and after taking some noted advice they also began to delve into representing some new lines of machinery.

In February of 2014 Thermwood Corporation, a manufacturer of high-end 3 and 5 axis routers contacted the duo to represent their routers in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Carl says “Although we had dealt with CNC machines in the past, the experience with Thermwood has been invaluable. Thermwood has paved the way to me understanding CNC and selling CNC machinery better.  We have dealt with so many different machines over the last 3 years of being in business.”

As The Equipment Hub continues to grow the team looks to focus more and more on high end CNC machines used both for machining and fabricating on metal, wood, plastic and composite materials.

carl davis young guns
The Equipment Hub sales team

Today The Equipment Hub is operating out of a 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse, has a team of 6 people, and have experienced 50% + growth every year.  Carl, a soon to be new father with wife Heather, credits his business’s success so far to his great mentors, business partners, family and clients. Carl says

“This has been an amazing journey for us so far and we feel that the sky is the limit for the future.”

Carl plans to attend MDNA’s Convention this April 23rd through 26th and is looking forward to meeting fellow members in Washington, D.C. this year.

Who are MDNA’s Young Guns? Learn More here


 

Below is just a small sample of inventory available for sale at The Equipment Hub to view all of their inventory visit them online through any of the links below.

Woodworking Equipment

Metalworking Equipment

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