The Challenge

Keeping members active and involved in a trade organization is critical to its growth and success. MHEDA, the premier trade association for material handling equipment dealers, faced this challenge.

Read how The Daniel Group’s research capabilities helped them to solve the problem.

MHEDA, is the premier trade association for dealers of lift truck and other handling equipment in the U.S.

It was founded in 1955 and has established a reputation for providing top-flight support for the industry. It 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. 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 they were leaving. They also wanted to know what existing members valued most about MHEDA’s varied services, so they could market those services more effectively.

A Thorough Process The Daniel Group interviewed owners and senior managers from smaller member companies. Interviews were conducted over the phone by The Daniel Group’s trained interviewers.

Key board members also participated in the interview process so they understood what questions were being asked of the members. The Daniel Group compiled the results into a report and presented the findings and recommendations to MHEDA.

What Was Learned! “Not only did their work provide us with an insightful plan for 2009 and beyond, The Daniel Group helped us with simple things such as ‘messaging’ for membership recruitment”, says MHEDA executive vice president Liz Richards.

Often a smaller member company may be asking what can be done today, whereas larger member companies may have a slightly longer-term perspective.

We tended to treat all companies the same and communicate 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.”

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

For more information about MHEDA, visit MHEDA.

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