1. These are legitimate questions. I think MHI does excellent work and has exceptional personnel, but seem to have a tendency to react slowly.
2. I don’t want MHI to offer more than they are now. They cant take on 10 different missions and be successful. Everyone wants MHI to be the magic bullet. They can’t, they aren’t and they never will be.
3. MHI's role should be limited to Continuing Education, Image/Marketing and Legislative/Lobbying. The industry should turn Regulatory over to MHARR and get them under the same umbrella but keep responsibilities separated. Lots of differences between Legislative and Regulatory. Two different worlds. MHARR’s strength is Regulatory and MHI’s strength is Legislative/Lobbying and Information/Supply. Until the two are joined they will both struggle to zero in on a particular mission. Both of them bounce around from point A to point Z with no defined scope. With MHARR constantly trying to eliminate the significance and importance of MHI.
4. We have one main problem in our industry and it is a lack of Retail and Wholesale Finance. This limits our sales volume and because of this low volume we lack Political Financial Capital or $$$$$ which in turn creates a lack relevance for you at the nation’s Capital. Industry Dollar Volume cures a multitude of “Sins.”
5. Our manufacturers spent all of their profits and reserves on trying to control their distribution networks by entering the retail business in the late 1990’s. Instead of competing with their customers and utilizing those reserves and profits to invest in a Retail Finance Foundation they made the age old mistake of trying to compete with their distributors. Clayton was investing all of their profits in retail financial products. Because Clayton had opened the retail division of their company first they had the freedom to do this. They are the only Manufacturer in the Industry to ever get away (from) competing with their customers. They got away with it because they treated their independent distributors identical to how they treated their company owned stores. The other manufacturers never copied this one small concept. The Clayton Family was smart enough to know they needed all three. Manufacturing, Independent Distributors and Company Owned Stores. The other Manufacturers spent all their time and money trying to create an advantage for their company owned stores over their independent distribution network and bypassed the need for the all-important foundation of Retail Finance. Clayton had a better vision for the future. No one likes to admit any of this though.
6. It’s extremely easy to be an armchair quarterback when you have the luxury of looking at past history like we do. I do hope as an industry we have learned a lesson for our future. Regardless of an industries distribution, capacity and retail demand…………………….IF YOU CANT CONTROL YOUR PRODUCT FINANCING , YOU LOOSE. ##
(Editor's notes: A) The author of the above requested in writing the following. “I would not mind you publishing these as an opinion from one state executive director but I don't need my name attached because our members are split on this...”
The same courtesy has been extended to others on sensitive topics, when we know the writer is real and not a phantom.
C) The writer references one of the many take-aways from the Jim Clayton interviews (point 5).
D) The associations graphic was added, and was not provided or requested by the writer, and the headline is ours and not that of the writer.
E) Other perspectives on this topic or others of industry interest are welcome.