Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

Volume 44,  Issue 7                                        September  2005

     AMD Headlines
         In the News

Who is Your Trusted Advisor?
AMD Offers Advice for Millwork Distributors

by George W. Lorenz 

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a trusted advisor as a person who offers advice in an official or professional capacity. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each of our distribution businesses could have its own “trusted advisor?” Well—we can!

It is important for each of us to have excellent resources available when difficult issues arise. Developing those resources is an ongoing process that too often, due to time pressures, gets pushed to the back burner. Just when we most need someone’s council we sometimes come up empty. There is a solution to this predicament and it is a great one.

The Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) is the essential resource in the millwork industry today. Current members are finding that the “new and improved” AMD is meeting their needs on a number of levels. For instance, the industry standards and certification committee (ISCC) offers insight and answers regarding industry standards and codes, helping distributors and manufacturers better understand the way through the maze of changes we all face. 

AMD’s offering of educational products and forums have been revised and enhanced to give every member a vast selection of topics covering the business of distribution and uses of millwork. However, the most significant benefit to the membership is the members themselves: generous, caring, knowledgeable and willing to give their time to advance the entire association for the good of all its members. AMD is our trusted advisor.

So just how do you make the connection with this trusted advisor? This is where AMD excels. In the spring we hold our top management conference. The leadership of the premier manufacturers, distributors and associate members who provide business services meet for high-level educational sessions and open time, which creates an atmosphere for gathering and building relationships that, over time, can turn into life-long friendships. 
In the fall we hold our annual convention, scheduled this year for October 6-11. 

The format has been updated to provide timely educational sessions that focus on critical industry topics. The exhibit hall allows for meeting time with the management of many of the key millwork manufacturers, other industry suppliers and their sales representatives. The management teams of the top millwork distributors are also available in the exhibit hall. This gives attendees one more opportunity to continue the process of building a network of potential trusted advisors.

While on your journey to connect with a trusted advisor, you will begin to find that as you develop relationships with others in the distribution supply chain they will want you to share your story with them. This is the first step of becoming a trusted advisor. Not only will you be getting encouragement and a clear sense of direction, you will find yourself contributing to others who are working to build and improve their organizations.

AMD has stepped out of its past and embraced the challenges of living, working and adapting to a rapidly changing present. Reinventing yourself is a difficult process. It takes time, much thought and a lot of hard work. When you are finished, you have really just begun. The reason? Now you must communicate the “new you” to the world. AMD is doing just that. We have embarked on Phase 1 of a marketing plan intended to showcase the new and improved AMD to current members and to introduce AMD to potential members who may be unaware of who we are.

While serving as president of AMD, I had the opportunity to participate in the process of reinventing and renewing our association. We worked to honor the great traditions of our past while opening up our thinking to envision what we can be in the future. The result is an association of millwork distributors, manufacturers and associates that is in tune with the way millwork is distributed today. And we are willing to share our wealth of knowledge and ideas with all of our members.

I encourage you to check out today’s AMD. If you are a current member, look into becoming more involved by participating in the wealth of opportunities available to you. If you are not a member, now would be a great time to join AMD and get to know this wonderful group of trusted advisors. You will find that the rewards are priceless! 

George Lorenz is co-chairperson of the board and ESOP trustee for Western Building Products Inc. of Milwaukee and a past president of the Association of Millwork Distributors.

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