By  Peter Addy, CMTSE, President, Addy Machinery Company

I am pleased to report that the recent AMT Distribution Regional Summit held at John Force Racing in Brownsburg, Ind., was a big success. Attended by more than 70 AMT members and guests, this first-time event focused on the unique challenges we all face in our manufacturing distribution businesses today.

The three featured speakers brought new ideas and relevant market data that provided many great “takeaways” to keep us ahead of our competition.

Joe Thomas of Impact Advantage gave us a fresh look at communicating with buyers and tools that we can use to gain control of the conversation clearing the way to a successful outcome. Joe also shared how to significantly increase our “open rate” for business emails in this age of constant contact via email.

Next to present was AMT’s own Pat McGibbon (V.P. - Strategic Analytics) to address the current and future economic trends/machine tool consumption data that were highlighted at the recent 2016 Global Forecasting & Marketing Conference held in Miami. Also discussed were the effects on our markets resulting from the stunning presidential election, which was decided just two days before this event. Pat gave a cautiously optimistic forecast moving though 2017 and into 2018.

The final speaker was Mike Marks of the Indian River Consulting Group. It was the perfect way to conclude this summit as he spoke to what concerns us all: How to remain relevant in the ever-changing distribution channel for our industry. Our cheese is being moved at an accelerating rate and Mike gave our group some great strategies to adapt to future (it’s already here!) changes in distribution. Sprinkle in his great sense of humor, and we had ourselves an upbeat philosophy to take back to our businesses.

After the conclusion of the “business portion” of this event, we were all treated to guided tours of the state-of-the-art John Force Racing manufacturing/assembly facility where some of the fastest drag racing cars in the USA are born. There was also the always well-received networking session where attendees got to enjoy refreshments and discuss the speakers’ content, and pretty much anything else involving our industry.

This was an awesome FREE event for our AMT members and guests thanks to our generous sponsors: Royal Products and Tech Financial Services.

This event was just a sneak peak at what we have in store for our valued members at the upcoming Distribution Summit 2017 (D17) convening on September 13-14, 2017, at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis, Mo.

Mark your calendars now, and see you all there!