Association for High Technology Distribution
A Resourceful Connection
Whether trying to stay productive with a remote workforce, securing supply chain, finding talent or, now, keeping up with the influx of order overload, the past 18 months have presented any number of challenges and opportunities for manufacturers and their distributors.
Sometimes people and companies need some help in addressing these issues. And, that’s where Yaskawa has found the Association for High Technology Distribution (AHTD) to be a beneficial resource.
AHTD advances the high technology distribution industry by delivering tools, education and unparalleled networking opportunities with leaders, peers and partners that help members to innovate, collaborate and achieve their business goals faster.
The association is comprised of nearly 300 member companies both automation solution providers and manufacturers who deliver technology-based products and services.
“We are an association of like-minded people that come together to share ideas that help each other grow without the barrier of fearing what the other person might do with the knowledge shared,” Leigha Schatzman, AHTD’s Executive Director, said.
“Our mission is to maximize member profit and growth through education and networking, identifying emerging product technologies and fostering partnerships and alliances to help deliver solutions.”
The last organizational attribute has been especially impactful as manufacturers and distributors have worked their way through the past 18 months, according to Schatzman.
“Our distributors are automation solutions providers.” Schatzman said. “They are definitely not order takers. They have a high degree of industry application focus. In that light, they are challenged to satisfy their customer needs when, today, things aren’t that easy to figure out.”
“One of our most important offerings is connecting people. Networking. There is a high degree of trust among members. That leads to camaraderie and openness. Which means discovering better solutions through collaboration with people outside the immediate company.”
So, why is this important to Yaskawa and its distributors?
Because AHTD works to enhance the productivity and efficiency of high technology automation solution providers and manufacturers through connection, collaboration, and education.
In other words, they have the tools to make your company and your people better at what you do.
The association also offers a variety of resources to members both in person or virtually. Those member resources include:
- Spring and Fall Conference and Product Showcase
- Members Only Directory
- Financial Benchmarking Services
- Monthly Newsletters
- LinkedIn Community
“Each of these tools provide ways for our members to connect. To share challenges and benefit from each other’s experiences. It’s a unique group in that members do not see each other as competitors but colleagues. So that willingness to share is much greater,” Schatzman said.
Yaskawa is currently leveraging many of these member resources. Look for the Yaskawa booth at the upcoming Fall Conference in Colorado Springs. Nicki Bowling, Drives Marketing Manager and Josh Julius, Industrial Channel Manager will be in attendance and look forward to connecting with many members.
Additionally, Yaskawa is participating in the organization’s “Future Leaders Program.”
Josh Julius, is nearing completion of AHTD’s 19-month program geared to enhance the skills and elevate the trajectory of high-potential emerging leaders.
“This is a comprehensive, practical program that develops the competencies necessary for individuals to successfully lead within their companies,” Schatzman said. “Participants learn highly interactive training methods, take a DiSC communication style assessment to increase self-awareness of behavior differences and personality tendencies.
“They also have access to an online community of fellow participants and instructors to discuss training topics and leadership development between sessions and have access to the Future Leaders Program Resource Center with skill development forms, ‘how to’ templates, recommended resources, articles, TED Talks, and other business aids.”
The program has been especially helpful as Julius applies what he has learned to his daily activities at Yaskawa.
“Yaskawa is the kind of company that gives you every opportunity to grow,” Julius said. “Every day can be different. Every challenge brings its own opportunities. The AHTD program has given me the knowledge, resources and network to not only handle those challenges more capably, but turn them into bigger opportunities in a lot of cases. In the process, I am better at setting and achieving long-term goals for myself.”
“The association also helped me understand ways to work with people who view challenges differently than I do. Looking differently at group dynamics, so I can help my teammates grow their business. That has made me a better coach.”