Volume 13, Issue 9 - November/December 2012

AMD Headlines

Is It Our Time to Change?

by John Crowder

Human observations and human behaviors offer a fascinating contrast. We see, read and hear what is going on around us, but do we really take the time to examine how it impacts us personally and professionally? In most cases, the answer is no. We are simply spread too thin, moving too fast and satisfied with quick sound bites to keep us informed. After all, change is gradual, right? That’s true by yesterday’s standards. But tomorrow is another story.

In the good old days, everywhere you turned water was free. Now we buy it by the case. Coffee was purchased with loose change in our pocket. Now we pay with credit cards. Eating apples was an art. Now they come pre-sliced in a re-sealable bag. Our almost new laptop is almost obsolete. And the whole world is our playground in the palm of our hand. Today’s phone has replaced a day at the mall with a stroll to the front porch. They used to give them away. Now we can’t wait to pay $700. Buyer behavior has changed forever. Have we adapted accordingly?

Ever Changing Supply Chains
Our industry, the shelter industry, has historically been driven by manufacturers, distributors, dealers and builders. Over time, each link in the supply chain had its moment in the sun. Yes, supply chain efficiencies were created that increased value for the end user. And it was enough—yesterday.

Today is a new ballgame. Today’s consumer is smarter, they have access to more information, they know what is available, they know what they want and they want it now. Servicing that thirst requires new business models. Consumers used to adapt to our business model. Now they are driving the bus and we have to adapt to their model—a “my way” model. The “my way” model always worked when it was “our way.” But tomorrow’s “my way” model is “their way.” And that requires new processes, new skill sets and more speed. In short, it requires new business models.

The Change Platform
The Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) understands this need and is committed to providing platforms for change. These include advocacy (for realistic pre-hung door codes and standards), education (high quality on-line modules and event speakers), committees (your opportunity to impact change) and the annual convention held each fall (the number one networking event in the millwork industry). The AMD provides the platforms—the rest is up to you. We all get way too much information electronically and quantity doesn’t always equate to quality. Plus we rarely learn “the rest of the story.” Today’s environment requires better information—inside information. And that’s tough to get from a screen. We need to be engaged with the right people at the right time on the right topics. The AMD provides multiple opportunities to connect with industry leaders that can impact your business model.

Our world is changing in dramatic ways. With windows now in Walmart, furniture in Best Buy and millwork in Fed Ex trucks, we need to adapt. Even though it’s sometimes scary to think about, it’s our turn and our time to change.

John Crowder serves as AMD president.


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