The Power of Networking

Published on October 2011 in “The Leader in Service” The Newsletter of the Equipment Service Association

Download the full ESA October 2011 Newsletter

By Paul Johnson, President, Aggressive Hydraulics

With the advent of Social Media, we all have been bombarded with this new potential to increase market and marketing activities through new forms of networking. There are even seminars, classes and countless books on how to use Social Media for networking. The conventional thought process with networking is to create new business activity with existing or prospective customers. Regardless of the mode of contact or evolution of technology, networking has been and will remain a valuable business building tool. What can’t be discounted is the value of “Best Practices” that can be achieved with networking through industry Associations and Societies. Enter the Equipment Service Association.

Networking with fellow service providers within the hydraulic industry for the benefit of you pursuant to best practices as well as accreditation is a primary reason why many of you are members of the ESA. Although being a member is the first step, becoming involved is not just the next progression. It is the true source of value. In previous publications we’ve covered the value of being accredited, now let’s talk about best practices. What better way to discuss real world issues related to the business of business in the service sector than attending an ESA Conference or Convention?

This year’s annual ESA Convention in New Mexico is a case-in-point on the utilization and implementation of best practices for Aggressive Hydraulics. After having sat in on and participating in meetings and activities during the course of the convention, one thing in particular stood out as the most valuable for Dave Beckwith to take back to the plant and share with colleagues. It was the session with Jep Enck of EnkResources. His message of customer service was perfect for sharing with all employees within a company that is looking to chart
the course for superior and sustained customer service – where the culture of customer service is within every person in the organization and is not dependent upon any one person, but the entire company.

This message was perfect for the internal process we were going through at the time, so we hired Jep to come in and speak to and work with all of our employees. He also modified his presentation to work with us on solidifying an internal process for Product Development. We even brought in our marketing company and a customer to be a part of this session to fully map out the process of the Product Development cycle from beginning to end. We already had a strong culture of being service oriented and are quite good at product development, but we wanted to get better. We also want to sustain our culture as we add new staff members both administratively and in the plant. Our employees, although maybe a little skeptical at first, embraced the process and were appreciative of our investment in them. Jep achieved the participation of everyone including the quietest members of the company. He also had us all laughing numerous times which made the experience both rewarding and fun. This was a wonderful event which will pay dividends for a long time to come as we continue to work toward
new and effective business building activities. At a high level, we as a group accomplished:

  • Getting 100% of our people focused on our company direction at the same time.
  • Getting everyone in the company talking about customer service, product development, and thinking about how to improve for the benefit of our customers.
  • Provided unique perspectives on what we do daily and our individual role in a true team environment pursuant to continuous improvement.

This three-day event within our company would have never happened without us having representation at this year’s ESA convention. Our continued success is dependent upon us finding  new ways to stay ahead of the curve and providing differentiation. Thank you to everyone responsible in putting together substantive conferences and conventions for the benefit of us all.

Jep Enk, EnkResources, holds an M.S. in Human Resources from Colorado State University, and has over 20 years’ management and speaking experience. Throughout his career he has focused on the “human element” in building excellent teams. He can be reached by visiting

“I am thankful for organizations like the Equipment Service Association who are able to connect its members with valuable resources such as Jep Enck, EnckResources. The value of the information you received at an ESA Convention is well worth the investment of time and money.”

Dave Beckwith, Aggressive Hydraulics, Inc.