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Supply Chain News: MHI Acquires Warehouse Education and Research Council


Big Shakeup in Supply Chain and Logistics Professional Organization Landscape

Aug. 4, 2020
SCDigest Editorial Staff

In major news in the supply and logistics sector, MHI (the Material Handling Industry organization) announced it has acquired the Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC), a research and education-focused professional association.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

The interesting dynamic here of course is the combination of a company-focused membership organization with one based on individual membership model.

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MHI, based in Charlotte, NC, is a trade organization representing the interests of companies of many types in the materials sector, from conveyor and fork truck makers to logistics software companies, consulting firms, systems integrators and more.

Membership is on a company basis, not at an individual level, with currently about 840 corporate members

MHI is known for its major trade shows, the ProMat show held in odd number years at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the MODEX show in even number years at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.

WERC, now located in the Chicago area, was founded in Columbus, OH in 1977. It is professional society of logistics professionals, with membership at mostly an individual level, with current membership at about 750 – certainly well down, as with many professional organizations, from its peak years ago. That drop, and a fall in attendance at its annual conference in recent years, with a cancellation of its 2020 conference due to the viru crisis, had WERC under financial stress, sources tell SCDigest.

WERC also manages some local chapters of its members.

Under the terms of the deal, WERC will become a division of MHI.


Long time WERC CEO Michael Mikitka will join MHI as Executive Vice President of the MHI Knowledge Value Center and will lead the WERC division within MHI.

"The acquisition of WERC complements our overall strategy to continue building our knowledge offering for the industry. This investment represents an important strategic opportunity offering additional value for both MHI and WERC membership. Together our platform will be stronger and deliver more value to the industry and our members," said George Prest, CEO of MHI.

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"WERC joining MHI provides a major growth opportunity for both our associations through an extended service offering for all members. As our industry evolves, together our associations will leverage its resources to provide the products, services and information to advance distribution logistics professionals to do their jobs, excel in their careers and make a difference in the world." Mikitka added.

Said SCDigest editor Dan Gilmore: "The interesting dynamic here of course is the combination of a company-focused membership organization with one based on individual membership model. It seems almost certain MHI sees an opportunity to drive WERC memberships higher."

What do you think of MHI's acquisition on WERC? What will MHI try to do with it? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.




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