The Independent Equipment Dealers Association (IEDA) recently held its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.
The meeting included talks on a wide range of topics, including an industry forecast, import and export restrictions when dealing with the European Union, good business practices when dealing with liens and new marketing ideas.
Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist of Wachovia, provided a mix of bad and good news when discussing the economy in the past few years and some guarded good news when discussing the future.
“The recession has ended because we have had two quarters of positive economic growth,” Vitner said.
However, he tempered that with the statement that the growth was mostly stimulus supported but the stimulus program has no long term strength so now it will have to be carried forward by private demand.
He doesn’t see a quick end to the housing construction problems and said that many believe that worse times are coming for commercial construction. However, he didn’t see massive overbuilding in the commercial market so it won’t be a long term problem.
Vitner also feels that inflation won’t be a problem for a couple of years. Oil, one of the most volatile commodities, has had some recent technical breakthroughs that may dramatically increase the supply as it has with natural gas, he said.
All in all, Vitner feels the economy will continue to recover in 2010.
Following Vitner was Gary Caufield, Ritchie Bros.’ chief legal officer. He discussed some of the lien issues Ritchie has faced over the years and gave some advice to attendees on how to avoid many costly mistakes.
David Smith of Hansen Shipping Agency then discussed some of the security concerns facing importers, including equipment dealers. He pointed out that there were strict rules about getting paperwork in on time. He also covered some of the issues dealing with the Cat decision on foreign made equipment and discussed the European Union’s certification requirements.
The meeting ended with presentations on marketing ideas including one by Mark Fuller of Point2 Technologies on the value of getting Internet advertising to the broadest possible audience.
More than 60 members and associate members were on hand for the meeting.
IEDA is a trade association dedicated exclusively to issues affecting independent equipment dealers and was founded in 2002.