Your Focus

Accentuate the postive

Friday, 26 August 2011 ( #529 ) is an excellent, informative publication and its popularity in the industry continues to grow, writes Warren Cornil.

It's my good fortune to do business nationally and internationally and with more and more frequency, dealers everywhere mention an article they read in your on-line journal and cite it as the source of some recent industry news or event. It is because of this increasing awareness, and because of the fact that your circulation is worldwide, that it seemed appropriate to chide you for the content of the editorial, "It's hard to remain upbeat" ( News #625).

Anne Murray sang: "We Sure Could Use a Little Good News Today" and it's my opinion that there is plenty of good news to celebrate in our industry today, so why not lead off with that rather than "It's hard to remain upbeat ...". That type of negative headline can be read in most any publication today. I challenge you to focus on the good news instead.

Here are some examples.

As you're aware, the Industrial Truck Association here in the States monitors and reports statistical information on forklift orders and shipments. After peaking for the first decade of the new millennium in 2006, shipments steadily decreased: 7.5% in '07, 13.9% in '08, and then near disastrously by 43.3% in '09. Perhaps your headline would have been appropriate in the January '10 edition, but most certainly not today. 2010 saw an increase of 22.7% over '09 and though I lack a hard statistic today, it's my understanding that it's up 35% year to date! Because of the international nature of my business, it is evident to me that this recovery is under way worldwide. It's my position that it shouldn't be hard for anyone to remain upbeat as a result of this trend. A better opening statement might have read "The global recovery in the forklift industry continues in spite of recent turmoil in the financial markets."

Parts, service and rental sectors are all improving as well. Just today, I had lunch with Dirk Von Holt, VP, Sales & Marketing for SMH, an industry-leading supplier of after-market parts. He reported that July was the company's best month in history!

The state of Michigan has suffered as tough a challenge as any market sector with the malaise in the auto industry in the late 2000s, but Michigan is now selling trucks again after the recovery of this sector. We routinely receive calls from dealers across the US who ask if we'll sell our new inventory on a wholesale basis because their demand is immediate and the manufacturers can't supply them quickly enough. The Asian market is incredibly strong. Many more examples abound and could be cited but suffice it to say that the forklift business is improving globally and that's very good news!

With the political instability in Washington, other world capitals, and the volatility in the stock markets, there are too many naysayers. But a rough week of current world events lacks significance when compared to the positive trend that is under way in our industry. What would your other readers say? I challenge you to devote a section of your next several editions to report their opinions, positive or negative, and am willing to bet my ranch that good news will outweigh the bad by four to one.

If so, please refocus your editorial accordingly.

Warren Cornil is president of Dallas, Texas-based Narrow Aisle, Inc. and
CEO of Sunbelt Industrial Trucks.
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