MHI Solutions

Solutions Spotlight

SOLUTIONS SPOTLIGHT: Overhead Alliance Renews and Refreshes Its Member Value

* By Stephen Murdoch *

The Overhead Alliance—a marketing arm for the Monorail Manufacturers Association, the Hoist Manufacturers Institute and the Crane Manufacturers Association of America—has been busy. “The Overhead Alliance has concentrated on numerous initiatives since its inception a decade ago,” explained Rob Beightol, director of marketing for MHI member Gorbel.

“Most recently, we have been promoting items ranging from the Overhead Crane Safety Conference that was sponsored by CMAA as well as activities designed to solidify our groups’ relationship with OSHA. So, promoting a safe working environment has been a general theme in recent months. Additionally, we have conducted an “Overhead Sentiment” survey of end-users to inform our member companies of items that are vital to users and trends that may be on the horizon. The results of this survey will be shared with members in the near future and will hopefully guide everything from messaging to product development within the organizations.”

The 25-year industry veteran feels past promotional programs have been designed to promote the benefits of overhead lifting by concentrating on areas where the use of overhead equipment can benefit the user.

“These topics range from decreasing the rate of product damage by using a system designed for the job being performed to freeing up floor space by keeping material handling overhead. We have also concentrated on ergonomic benefits and the creation of safe working environments. One of the highest visibility pieces was the development of an Overhead Lifting “game” that uses virtual reality to allow participants to move items throughout a factory. This is designed to educate users on how systems operate, but we do it in an engaging, enjoyable manner. We also produce unique videos in order to spread the word of our industry groups in an engaging way.”

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This issue of MHI Solutions tackles the important topic of digital technologies in the supply chain industry, especially as it relates the transportation and logistics. Transportation plays a central role in supply chains, whether they are local or global enterprises. And just like the overall supply chain, transportation is facing a digital revolution including new solutions for tracking road, rail, sea and air freight and parcel transportation. These digital technologies are disrupting the industry, but they are also providing im-portant new solutions for transportation inefficiencies and urban logistics challenges. They are also creating new digital business models that enhance transparency and sustainability and contribute to end-to-end supply chain visibility. Like the innovations impacting supply chains, these trends are being driven by the growth of e-commerce and the consumers’ never-ending need for better, faster and cheaper. Ignoring them is done at your own peril.

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