A full agenda covering topics from digitization and alternative energy, to exhibitions of the future and the value of AEM statistics, among others, was covered by the CE Sector Board at the March 4 meeting in Washington, D.C. held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.

CE Chair Steve Berglund, president and CEO, Trimble, Inc., opened the meeting by welcoming new board members Melvin Porter, president and CEO, Link-Belt Cranes, Laura Ness Owens, vice president of marketing, Doosan Bobcat, Inc., and Eric Sauvage, president and CEO, LBX Company LLC.  The Board also elected new member Johanne Schulze Vohren, regional president North America, Wacker Neuson, who will join the Board at the next meeting in August.

“The level of discussion and engagement among the board today was very high,” said Berglund. “The task for 2019 is to build on this engagement, bring more focus to the conversation and lead to more direct outcomes coming out of the discussions that support the AEM membership.”

During the meeting, the CE Sector Board covered the following:

Programs & Services Updates

Customer Connections: AEM Senior Vice President of Exhibitions and Events Megan Tanel shared highlights from the best-ever World of Asphalt held in Indianapolis in February. The record-breaking show included all-time high attendance, exhibit space sales and highest education revenue. In addition, the new opportunity to connect with more than 100 FFA students to showcase transferrable skills was well received.

AEM Vice President of Exhibitions and Events Dana Wuesthoff gave an update on CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 planning, detailing positive progress on net space sold and exhibitors compared to previous shows. Wuesthoff also shared some of the marketing initiatives for the year-out launch in March to build excitement and awareness for when show registration opens on July 23, 2019.

Tanel also provided the board with an update on CONEXPO Latin America scheduled for October 2019. She highlighted the ongoing economic challenges in the region and discussed the reforecast for anticipated exhibit space, co-located events and enhanced marketing and PR initiatives.

Among other topics discussed by the Board were the considerations for how customer connections and exhibitions may change in the future as more digital connections become available.

Construction Digitization Task Force: AEM Director of Construction Sara Feuling presented the objectives of the new Construction Digitization Task Force and detailed the timeline for selecting 20 task force members and reporting back to the board in November. The objectives of the task force are to determine AEM’s role to help drive industry efficiency, review digital integration and obstacles for adoption, and discuss issues impacting the industry related to how machines are built, used and integrated into site operations and safety.

Alternative Energy, Electrification & State Regulations: AEM Director of Utility John Somers shared an overview of the efforts underway to inform AEM membership about the effects of alternative energy and equipment electrification through the monitoring of state regulations requiring zero-emission fleets. If enacted, these regulations would impact multiple areas of AEM membership, and Somers discussed the importance of engaging with other industry organizations and determining AEM’s role if legislation is proposed.

Core Services Focus

Statistics: AEM Vice President of Statistics Larry Buzecky provided a general overview of AEM statistics service, explaining how members participate and the value they receive from our programs. Buzecky gave a high-level review of the relationship and responsibility of AEM-owned Hargrove & Associates in providing and analyzing data.

New AEM Senior Director of Statistics Mike Lietke was introduced to the Board, and he provided insights based on his experience working in the motorcycle industry and the types of statistics that industry uses to make decisions. In addition, board member Stephen Roy, president, sales region Americas, Volvo Construction Equipment, provided an overview of the types of statistics shared among the trucking industry and how those stats support the truck OEMs.

The Board continued the conversation by discussion new opportunities for how AEM could provide more and better statistics, including DORF (Dealer Owned Rental Fleets) and how data can be used to make business decisions.

Topical Issue:  Unmanned & Autonomous Equipment

The topic of unmanned and autonomous equipment was chosen by the board in November 2018 as one that necessitated extra attention this year. Sara Fueling and John Somers introduced the topic, providing an overview defining what is meant by unmanned and autonomous, as well as what advantages and challenges they bring to the industry and AEM membership.

Guest speaker Mike Bierschbach, director of fleet technology and intelligence, United Rentals, provided a perspective based on his ongoing work with end users and the new demands they are making for technology and autonomous equipment. He shared case studies and examples of how unmanned and autonomous equipment is in use today.

AEM Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs and Ag Policy Nick Tindall led a discussion related to unmanned and autonomous equipment regulations and how it is currently in its infancy. He shared how AEM is looking into exiting regulations in other industries and sharing how those industries adopted them and the challenges they experienced during adoption.

Consent Agenda

Prior to the meeting, the Board received reports on each of the following AEM service areas that outlined the lasted updates and actions led by AEM staff. The service area updates included:

  • Marketing Intelligence & Statistics
  • Telematics & Data
  • Membership
  • Workforce Development
  • Technical & Safety
  • Public Policy
  • Exhibitions 

The next meetings of the AEM Board and Sector Boards will be held Aug. 6-7 in Indianapolis. For more information about the CE Sector Board, please contact Al Cervero acervero@aem.org.

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