From the Chairman: Making AEMP Work for You
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Posted by: AEMP
AEMP is a volunteer driven association centered around end users, but what does that mean and how can you get the most out of it?
I’ve spent significant parts of my career on two sides of the equipment triangle. I was initially on the end user side and then in the middle of my career, on the dealer/distributor side of the triangle, and I’ve certainly enjoyed both. When I had an opportunity to return to the end user side in a unique senior management role I jumped at it. I wanted to get myself up to speed on the latest and best practices in the equipment management profession so one of the things I did was search for information and education opportunities that might help.
I heard about AEMP and the time frame just happened to be right as ConExpo 2011 was kicking off. I don’t remember if I learned that AEMP had a booth there or if I just stumbled across it, but in any case I found myself at the booth and had some good conversation about what AEMP was all about, who some of the highly respected end user member companies were and how the association could benefit me individually. In particular I was interested in the Certified Equipment Manager (CEM) program.
I’m very fortunate to be a part of a group of companies where both continuing education and association membership and participation are encouraged. Everything I learned about AEMP was positive so I immediately joined the association and purchased the Career Equipment Fleet Manager manual so I could begin studying for the CEM exam. I attended my first conference six months later and we could say the rest is history, but then I wouldn’t have answered the question I posed at the beginning.
So how have I benefitted from my participation in AEMP and what were the keys to getting the most out of it? I think the three keys are: personal involvement, volunteering, and networking with my peers on all sides of the triangle.
Equipment management education is the primary focus of AEMP conferences. Conference attendance (personal involvement) is a must if you are to get the most out of your membership affiliation. Each conference has great keynote speakers who address some of the most pressing issues in the profession, our industries or sometimes society in general and they all cause you to reflect and consider. Two of the best key note addresses I’ve heard had only a marginal direct tie-in to our profession but huge societal and generational implications which caused me to think about what I could do personally to make an impact. The fall conference normally has a single track of education that focuses on the future of the profession, where we are going and how we might most effectively get there. The spring conference typically has multiple education tracks where there is something for everyone. In both cases there are always multiple take-a-ways for you to bring home and implement in your own organization.
The best way to learn anything and to give back is through volunteering. There are committees working on technology, developing and delivering conference education, workforce development, and certifications to name just a few. There are great people from all sides of the triangle who are passionate about the contributions they are making to the association and the industries we serve. By volunteering you will help advance one of the causes of the association and therefore our profession, be on your way to being a subject matter expert in the area in which you are working and make lasting friendships and key contacts that can help you navigate the challenges you face in your job.
Which leads me to networking. You will meet some of the most trusted and influential people on each side of the equipment triangle at conference events and through committee involvement. People who can answer questions and help you work through issues affecting your business and day-to-day activities and you’ll really enjoy it when you can help them as well. Lasting friendships are formed with people from all over the country and beyond whose interests are the same as yours: getting better in this business of managing assets, people, operations as well as your own time. I continue to meet new and interesting people at each and every event, all with the same mindset, to get better at what they do and who are happy to swap war stories complete with details about their wins and losses.
Seven years ago I jumped back into end user equipment management, began attending conference events and earned my CEM credential. Shortly after that, I started serving on and later chairing a couple of different committees, was asked to serve on the board of directors, later the executive committee and as I conclude this article. I am midway through my year as chairman of the board. It’s all been a whirlwind of activity but one that has produced results for me personally, for my employer, and I hope in some small way for the industry. I know that my desire for personal involvement, volunteering to give back, and the friends and contacts I have made through my AEMP network will continue to serve me well throughout the remainder of my career. Hope to see you soon!
Greg Peet, CEM
2018-19 Chairman of the Board