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Columbus McKinnon’s corporate leadership uses Roadmap to inform strategic planning process
At various times throughout the year, the corporate leadership team at Columbus McKinnon gathers to discuss strategy. The company designs, manufacturers and markets overhead handling systems—including hoists, actuators, cranes, and lifting and rigging tools—that are deployed worldwide to move, lift, position or secure materials in a variety of industries.

“These meetings are a chance for our team to step outside our usual focus on the short-term and what’s happening in the now,” says Jon C. Adams, Treasurer of the company.

Prior to the group’s first planned gathering in April, Adams discovered the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics.

“When I found the Roadmap—and its longer-term view of where the industry is headed—I thought it was exactly the type of information we should be reflecting upon as we go through our strategic planning process,” he explains.


Jon C. Adams, Treasurer of Columbus McKinnon

Join the Roadmap on LinkedIn: Industry members are encouraged to join the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics Group on LinkedIn and to follow @MHLRoadmap on Twitter.

July 6 – 8, 2015: Second International Physical Internet (PI) Conference
On Tuesday, July 7, MHI’s Gary Forger, Managing Director of Professional Development, will be delivering the Plenary address focusing on the relationship between the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics and the Physical Internet from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. Forger will also participate in a workshop led by MIT’s Zaragoza Logistics Center entitled “Physical Internet as a real game-changer: How to get a shared vision and mental shift” on Wednesday, July 8 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Register here.

Welcome to the Future

June 12, 2025

Gaithersburg, MD. John Alvarez has been under his classic 1996 silver Corvette for three and a half hours. He’s sweating profusely, but doing what he loves—restoring old cars. His search for the source of a small oil leak is finally over—a leaking right valve cover gasket. “MyEye, stock check.”

“Yes, sir?” responds a small SmartPin clipped to his shirt. “Is there a right valve cover gasket for my Corvette in this town?”

“Checking, sir, please wait…” After confirming the meaning of “valve cover gasket” and “my Corvette” with appropriate databases, SmartPin sends a stock request via wireless connection to a central database for automotive supplies: “Stock check, right valve cover gasket for a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette, 5.7 liter V8, 4-speed, convertible. Near address: 2049 Mockingbird Lane, Gaithersburg, MD.”

“I have found a source, sir. Please check MyEye to confirm.” Still under the car, John shifts his focus to the eyes up display in his right contact lens as it projects photographs and technical details for the part.

“Next page…. Next page. Yes, that’s it. Please order for immediate delivery.”

“On the way, sir.” The order is immediately placed and paid for. Inside the local auto parts store, a 3D printer begins the job. Ten minutes later, it’s done.

The store’s CrowdDeliver system broadcasts a request for delivery to thousands of participating mobile devices. A notification pops up in the car of Jeff Hart, who lives in John’s neighborhood but has never met him. Jeff is on his way back from his daughter’s gymnastics meet, and only two blocks from the auto parts store. He clicks “Got it” and takes a left toward the store.

A clerk greets him at the service window, “Here you go, Mr. Hart. Do you see the address?” “Yep, it came up right there. I’ve been wanting to meet John for some time.”
“Thank you sir, we’ve credited your account.”

Ten minutes later, Jeff pulls into the driveway of John Alvarez, who is still under his Corvette.

“John, I’m Jeff Hart from down the street. Here’s your gasket. Nice car.”

Sound far fetched?

It’s not.

This is the future, as envisioned by the contributors and authors of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. The Roadmap offers a visionary look at how the material handling and logistics industry will change between now and 2025. It identifies both driving trends and the transformations ahead that will make the above scenario a commonplace occurrence.

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