60 seconds with John Nofsinger
Title: Outgoing CEO, Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA)
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Experience: 25 years at MHIA, 45 years in the industry
Primary Focus: Building consensus among 800 association members to promote the growth and prosperity of the industry.
Modern: John, you’re retiring after 12 years as CEO of MHIA. Looking back, how has MHIA’s role in the industry evolved?
Nofsinger: A couple of things have changed for MHIA both for its members and the art and science of what we do. One is that we have evolved from providers of tactical solutions to strategic players in business and operational strategies. A second is that our industry and its members are morphing from domestic to international solution providers. Finally, I think the Internet has connected people in a way that has allowed a number of best practices to come together to raise the state of the art to levels that it would be hard to do with a more provincial approach.
Modern: What are the most important recent developments or trends you’ve observed in the materials handling industry in recent years?
Nofsinger: The first is the whole concept of concurrence. That’s our ability to know everything about everything and it’s a result of a focus on the information about the movement of goods. The second is the awareness at the C-level of the value-add we bring to an enterprise. We’re no longer just a necessity or cost of doing business.
Modern: Over the last decade, ProMat has emphasized the industry’s role in the supply chain. Modex seems to marry the activities inside the four walls with activities outside the four walls. Are our end users becoming more aware of how these two parts of their organizations work together?
Nofsinger: They are coming together more every day. In our particular case, the model for Modex began with advice we received from end users. They told us they wanted a platform where the many distinct voices in the supply chain could come together to talk about their unique contributions to the supply chain solution. That’s everything from equipment, to certification to government regulation to safety. We’ll bring together 19 different supply chain voices and materials handling is only one of them.
Modern: After so many years working in the industry, what’s next?
Nofsinger: I’ll continue to serve on some of the associations under the MHIA umbrella as well as participate in some events. With my newly found time, I see research, writing, advising, traveling and just enjoying family and friends. But, I’ll stay close to what I’ve done my whole adult life.