Friday
Jan012016

Does Your VP of Engineering Attend TMC?

(This article is scheduled to appear in the February 2016 edition of TMC's Fleet Maintenance & Technology)

Forgive the impertinence of my question, but inquiring minds want to know. Your Director of New Product Development, your manager of Advanced Engineering … does he (or she) attend TMC?

Assuming you are a currently active Associate (Supplier) member of TMC, you are most likely a technical sales or service expert. You care, passionately, about promoting your products and services to the industry. You attend TMC meetings and contribute to the process of developing RP’s and tech sessions, because it creates exposure for you and your company. Your interaction with fleet maintenance executives at TMC becomes the bedrock for long-lasting, trust-based relationships that are good for suppliers, just as they are a benefit to the fleets. You have discovered the value of TMC … but what about the men and women designing your products? Principal engineers, product planning gurus, the chief or assistant chief engineer … have they considered how TMC might benefit them?

If the only thing TMC ever did was create a forum to surface and resolve maintenance issues, well then, we’ve probably got all the right people in the room. And they would be addressing issues of great value. But TMC, from day one, was never just about heavy truck maintenance! No, from its inception, TMC has been a crucible and a catalyst for discussions about the future of truck technology. From the layout of the instrument panel and the implementation of the ABS warning lamp, to discussions about hybrid powertrains and 48V electrical systems, TMC is a place where the future of trucking has been and will be debated with considerable intellect and passion.

In fact, TMC is absolutely unique in its ability to facilitate a discussion about future truck technology. Twice each year, the Future Truck Study Group facilitates discussions around topics that range from cab to chassis, engine to tires, telematics to vehicle dynamics and everything in between. The unifying theme of these discussions is this simple question: “What type of vehicle do we want to operate ten years from now?” What a great conversation! What a great way to plug in to customer needs and wants! What a great opportunity to influence the industry! Add to that the mammoth trade show hosted every year, with scores of suppliers demonstrating their latest, fleet-oriented solutions. Plus a new channel for publishing papers, the TMC Journal of Commercial Truck Technology. Finally, there is the benefit of networking: gathering a couple times each year with a growing network of industry peers with whom you can compare insights, debate tech trends, and help chart a course for the future of the industry!

Please pass along this article to a technical leader that is not yet engaged at TMC. Encourage them, not just to attend one meeting but to attend several, in order to become truly immersed in the organization. I would also suggest, humbly, that they consider active involvement – volunteering to submit a paper or speaking on a panel, for example. As with any large organization, the old maxim is true: you get out of it what you put in!

Of course, there is a limit to what any one of us can accomplish with the 24 hours we’re given each day. Making TMC a priority might require some people to shuffle the deck slightly. Pass the word - let them know that that TMC is a phenomenal investment for the technical leaders in our industry. See you in Nashville!

John Adami is a TMC Board Member and the current Chairman of Associates. He can be contacted at john@nwheavyduty.com or via the company website: www.nwheavyduty.com

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