This year, MHI is kicking off two Solution Groups—Automation Alliance (AA) and Information Systems (IS)—as part of the association’s effort to tout more holistic solutions to end-users by positioning MHI and its member companies as authoritative resources on material handling and supply chain topics.
“This represents an evolution of the market and the industry,” says Bill Leber, director, business development and marketing at MHI member Swisslog in Norfolk, Va. “Our customers—end-users—are more concerned with solutions and performance than they are about individual product components. They want the system to work holistically and frankly, they couldn’t care less about the ‘pots and pans’ of our industry.”
The advent of MHI Solutions Groups has enabled the association to reach “a maturity curve,” by recognizing—and stressing to end-users—that automation has now entered the industry’s mainstream, Leber says.
“We should now be finding ways to grow the market by strongly emphasizing that automation is not an anomaly—it’s a necessity,” he says.
With the formation of the two Solutions Groups, the existing Integrated Systems and Controls and Supply Chain Execution Systems & Technology MHI Product Groups will discontinue operations. A core team of MHI members has already developed a proposed mission and vision for each MHI Solution Group.
By Katie Kuehner-Hebert