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It seems as though everyone in our business has seen a flurry of activity within the first quarter of 2016. Our business is up across technology segments, vertical markets, and geographies. 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for Microscan and the automation market overall. It's an incredible time to be offering and selling automation products and solutions.


I spent the better part of last week in beautiful Amelia Island, Florida at the spring meeting of AHTD (Association of High-Tech Distribution), the premier North American organization of high-tech automation product distributors and vendors.  I continue to be extremely impressed with the caliber of attendees, content, and networking this organization brings to its members two times a year. Of course, Microscan has distributors with ties to AHTD, so it's great to rekindle friendships.The nearly 300 attendees at this year's spring event couldn't have been more welcoming. This event makes everyone feel at home, whether it's your first time or fifteenth.

This was my second trip to the spring meeting; the first being last year in New Orleans. Florida isn't exactly around the corner from Seattle but the investment in time and energy to get there was immediately rewarded with an extraordinarily well-organized meeting that offered ample time for discussions and presentations on growing your business, making your team more effective, networking, and sharing best practices with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. We also attended a vendor showcase that included roundtable discussions about topics  such as selling, ERP, and CRM systems. The event was capped off with a compelling presentation on the latest economic trends. The quality of speakers AHTD brings in for its members is outstanding. Recent years have seen keynotes from notables such as speaker and author David Horsager  (www.davidhorsager.com), economist Alan Beaulieu  of  (www.itreconomics.com/profile/alan-beaulieu),and retired V.P. of Business Development at Harley-Davidson, Clyde Fessler  (www.clydefessler.com).

It's easy to walk away from AHTD with several dozen business cards, contacts, and connections ranging from vendors like Microscan to CEOs and executives of the most successful high-tech distributors in North America. I highly recommend AHTD to any Microscan partner in North America seeking to improve the top and bottom lines through engaged learning, discussion, and mentorship. If you are outside North America, look for a similar organization in your region. It will be an invaluable resource.

I believe that you will find AHTD events beneficial because they:

  • Foster relationships between decision makers at distributors and vendors of high-technology automation solutions;
  • Facilitate networking opportunities with business owners and executives who share common goals and concerns;
  • Provide access and insight into emerging technologies and business practices, and offer valuable leadership training;  
  • Maintain a steady focus on developing superior technical-based, consultative sales channels.

We all need to take an occasional break from the day-to-day routine of meetings, emails, and voicemails to spend time with a talented group of like-minded professionals who want to share and grow. In all of my interactions with the attendees of this year's AHTD Spring meeting, the most encouraging takeaway was the optimism they all shared that the remainder of 2016 will bring strong growth in the market for automation products and solutions.

Learn more about AHTD here:  http://www.ahtd.org/

Image and logo credit to AHTD Archive.

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