Members of three working groups in the trade association MHI have merged into a new organization known as the "Solutions Community," it was announced yesterday at MHI's spring meeting in Charlotte, N.C.
The three groups involved in the merger included the Automation Solutions Group (ASG), the Information Systems Solutions Group (ISSG), and Order Fulfillment Solutions (OFS) group. Two of these groups, ASG and ISSG, were byproducts of recent mergers.
The move is part of MHI's strategy to streamline its industry groupings and improve engagement with end users, according to the group, which mostly represents suppliers to the material handling industry and runs the trade shows ProMat and Modex, among other functions. According to its charter approved yesterday by members of the three former groups, the mission of the Solutions Community is to "understand the complex challenges of the user industries and be the go-to resource in the material handling systems, services, and applications throughout the supply chain."
MHI and the professionals leading the three groups recognized that there is natural overlap within the three former groups. They said the new group would make it easier for people seeking material-handling solutions to interact with member companies and to find needed resources.
Kevin Reader, director of business development and marketing at the Austrian material-handling firm Knapp AG, will be the new group's executive director. Other members of its board will include an integrator, an educator, a supplier, an end user, a media member, and a manager from MHI. That structure is much broader than that of past industry working groups, reflecting the new direction of the Solutions Community.
Gary Master, publisher of DC Velocity and CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, will serve as the media chair member for the new board.