HARDI's 2008 Mid-Year Business conference took on a new twist this year when it headed to the nation's capitol, Washington, D.C., April 30-May 2. Dubbed the Mid-Year Business Conference and Congressional Fly-In, the day preceding the normal committee and council workings of the business meeting was filled with more than 100 meetings with House and Senate offices.
Sixty HARDI members participated in the distributor association's first Congressional Fly-In, focusing primarily on pressing issues such as pending climate change/HFC legislation, certainty and sanity in estate tax policy, promoting incentives and credits to advance energy efficiency, and reinforcing the value of the LIFO accounting system, among other issues.
With feet rested from Thursday's Capitol Hill blitz, attendees rolled up their sleeves Friday and got down to the business of advancing the industry and association through committee and council meetings. Eleven committees and councils gathered to update their working projects, advance pertinent issues and discuss their plans for the annual conference. What follows is a summary from each.
Supplier Member Committee
- Discussions of the success of the ambassador program. We need more supplier member volunteers to act as ambassadors for new suppliers at conference.
- Industry Training Program — request the development of a portal on HARDI's site linking to training sites and resources of HARDI supplier member companies.
- The 2008 Conference Booth Program in Phoenix will host 250 6′ × 8′ booths.
- Develop a plan for current members to contact HARDI's list of prospective members.
- Plans to increase membership attendance at HARDI conference and events.
- Discussion of implementation of International Development Plan.
Habitat for Humanity Committee
- Royce Henderson, Charles D. Jones & Co., chaired his final committee meeting before turning over the reins to Dave Chatmon of Milwaukee Stove & Furnace Supply.
- HARDI's donation to the 2008 Gulf Coast Build has a value of more than $100,000.
- Four HARDI members have volunteered to work during the week-long blitz build in the Gulf Coast.
Executive Development Committee
- Plan to hold a Succession Planning panel discussion at conference featuring good and bad real-life member experiences.
- Many educational opportunities are being developed and sponsored by the Committee, including the Young Distribution Professionals Conference in August, a second University of Industrial Distribution (Dec.), Outside Sales Training sessions in early 2009, Professional Development Retreat Jan. 11?13, 2009, and possibly another Branch Manager Training Workshop.
- The Committee has developed a group titled “HARDI Executive Development Committee” on Facebook.com to encourage networking and mentoring.
- With a grant from the HARDI Foundation, the Education Committee will launch an online component to its Home Study Institute. We will offer unique HARDI courses such as Cost of Carrying Inventory and Bottom-Line Profitability — all with instant grading. Suppliers will be invited to include their technical training materials, and third-party providers will be sourced for specialized and soft skills training. Members will be able to track their employees' training experience online.
Management Methods Committee
- Profitability Assessment Tool — We will market this tool to the membership with strong testimonials from successful users.
- Monthly Sales Trends report will have a new look and a new provider — the Institute for Trend Research.
- The biannual compensation survey is completed. Members should have information on how to order the two-volume report.
Distribution Logistics Management with Supply Chain Technology Committees
- Participants agreed that there is need to continue a separate committee to focus on Supply Chain Technologies.
- Inform members about the likelihood of a DOT audit. One helpful site is http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SafeStat/safestatmain.asp, where you can enter your DOT number and review your company safety records.
- For the October meeting, the Committee will address the topic “Transportation Challenges Today” that will include discussion on FOB Destination versus FOB Origin and the importance to the wholesaler.
HVAC Systems & Equipment Council
- Impact of “green” on high-efficiency equipment sales, and discussion on the growth of and outlook for the ductless system market were follow-ups to a review of pending federal and state energy conservation legislation. The Council intends to invite ACCA to the annual conference to report on its new ANSI standard on Quality Installations.
- Review of 410A transition status and discussion of potential impacts of refrigerants-reduction legislation.
Refrigeration Systems Council
- Presentation and discussion with EPA officials on upcoming rulemakings related to the phaseout of HCFCs.
- Review and discussion of various stakeholder positions on climate change legislation that would cap and reduce HCFC/HFC production.
- Overview of refrigerant regulation and trends in Europe.
Hydronic Heating & Cooling Council
- Review of the hydronic market and installer trends.
- Cataloging and building hydronic training resources.
- Advances in hydronic cooling applications.
- Controls industry buzz including trends in customer and market; supply and availability and controls distributor business issues, needs and challenges.
- Discussions of value projects including liaison meetings, supplier participation and controls-specific benchmarking via a profit reporting structure.
HARDI's Committees and Councils hold their meetings Sunday during the Annual Fall Conference.
Plan to attend the conference and get involved in your industry this year Oct. 25?28 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ.
Details will be available soon on www.hardinet.org.