Strength in Numbers
Belong to AMD and Benefit from Your Peers
By Carl Detering
A Cajun friend of mine once told me, “Carl, the loneliest bayou (pronounced by-you) in the world is by you-self.” This is the best reason to belong to your industry association. You don’t have to figure all this stuff out on your own. It is within the membership that I often find solutions to challenges that I face every day.
Most of us have needs for industry information, trends, functional and product training. Another fine reason for joining an association is to accomplish things that we can’t or won’t do on our own. There is strength in numbers—and whether that is bringing in a speaker or trainer—that would not be possible or practical for most member companies.
As an association of businesses, we have the resources to bring in the best of the best. To bring in a world-class speaker or develop a training program, I couldn’t do that on my own, but as the association—it’s a great idea! New standards and codes are being enacted that will effect my business. Where do I start to learn about compliance? Check with our association.
Webster’s dictionary defines association as an organization of people with common interests. For millwork distributors, our association is the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD). As the name implies, we are an association of and for those involved in the distribution of millwork. Through the work of an active and invested committee structure supported by a professional staff, the AMD is actively engaged in education, industry standards and producing the finest showcase of millwork in the world during our annual convention, which will be held in Salt Lake City, October 9-13. If you are involved in the distribution of millwork, AMD is the association for you.
I recently attended our Spring Top Management Leadership Conference. It was an outstanding opportunity to share some fellowship with folks in the millwork industry. The meeting featured two excellent educational sessions: one on the future of the millwork industry and the other on buying and selling companies. The speakers truly were top-notch. Probably as beneficial as hearing these speakers were discussions with two individuals that I met, each of whom operates large moulders in their companies. You see, we just bought a moulder and are working on learning the ins and outs of this operation. The conversations with these two during the meeting created leaps of understanding for us as we take on this new venture.
When I first joined the millwork industry in a management position, a friend of mine, past-president Ralph Davidson, told me, “You need to join AMD (although it was then known as NSDJA). They have a convention coming up, and you need to attend and see what it is all about.”
Well I did, and I was amazed. The convention offered the world of millwork in one building and a room full of folks in the same business as I. Over the years, I have continued to learn and reap great benefits from my membership, which include making friends, learning about new products, strengthening my knowledge of various aspects of the millwork business, and I am still amazed every time I enter the exhibit hall for that opening session. I always say to myself, “Wow! Look at all this.”
There you have it—the rewards of membership. But, there is a catch: just being a member does not cut it. If you do not participate, the only thing you will accomplish is writing another check for dues. You will get much more out of your membership, if you actively participate in the association. What does this mean?
First, attend the meetings, the annual convention and the top management meetings. Second, utilize the training materials. Third, volunteer to serve on a committee. Finally, participate in the surveys, read the newsletters and trade magazines. If you will do all of this, you will become excited about your membership in AMD.
If you are involved in millwork distribution and not already a member, consider joining the AMD. It is one of the truly great value propositions in our industry. If you are a distributor of millwork and not already a member, join us as a guest distributor at our convention in Salt Lake City this October and be amazed at this fabulous gathering of the industry.
If you are already a member, make plans now to attend the convention in Salt Lake City. It is going to be a great convention. Attend and participate. This is an exciting time for our association. It won’t be the same without YOU!
Check out the AMD website at www.amdweb.com or call 727/372-3665 to learn more about the values and the rewards of membership.
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