MHEDAMaterial Handling Industry Association stems attrition by learning what members want



Keeping members active and involved in a trade organization is critical to its growth and success. The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA), the premier trade association for material handling equipment dealers, wanted to stem member attrition rates.

Founded in 1955, the association has a reputation for providing top- flight support for the industry. MHEDA provides education, networking opportunities, industry specific information, statistical and trend analysis and all other information specific to the material handling industry.

The material handling equipment industry itself is made up of a wide range of company types and sizes. For example, MHEDA serves companies with sales ranging from $2 million to $100 million.

Trying to serve such widely divergent customer needs was becoming increasingly challenging. The member companies with smaller sales volume were a particular challenge for the association as these companies tended to not be as active and were more likely to leave the organization.


MHEDA leaders wanted to arrest this trend and hired The Daniel Group to find out why members were leaving. They also wanted to know which membership offerings existing members valued most so they could market those services more effectively.

The Daniel Group interviewed owners and senior managers from smaller member companies. The Daniel Group’s highly-trained research analysts conducted all interviews by phone using survey questions developed in conjunction with MHEDA leadership.

The Daniel Group compiled the results into a report and presented the findings and recommendations to MHEDA.


Often a smaller member company may be asking what can be done today, whereas larger member companies may have a slightly longer-term perspective. Before seeing the survey results, MHEDA tended to treat all companies the same and communicated with them the same way, no matter the size.

“The Daniel Group helped us to better segment our members and identify better ways of communicating with them,” says MHEDA executive vice president Liz Richards.

“And, not only did their work help us with simple things, such as messaging for membership recruitment, but they also provided us with an insightful plan we could use for years to come.”

Richards calls the final results of the research project “extremely comprehensive,” “on target” and “very insightful” – just what the organization needed.

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