NFPA Is Strengthening the Fluid Power Industry

NFPA Is Strengthening the Fluid Power Industry
by Tom Hunter, Vice President, Global Business Development, Husco

The NFPA Board of Directors convened in June 2023 to review NFPA’s performance over the past fiscal year and to make strategic decisions for moving the association forward into the future. As Chair of the NFPA Board for 2023-24, it was my honor to lead a number of these important discussions. The past fiscal year saw a number of successes across the association’s four high-level strategic objectives for strengthening the fluid power industry and we set the groundwork for a number of exciting projects moving forward.

Through our Effective Forum initiative, we bring our members together in ways that allow them to find new business opportunities and advance their collective interests. This past year set a dues record for NFPA, as members across the fluid power supply chain renewed and engaged in many of the key networking and education events that we hold throughout the year. Especially noteworthy was the extraordinarily successful Annual Conference in February 2023, and our on-going series of smaller Quarterly Technology Conferences, where we are engaging with OEMs and other technology partners to better explore the technology trends that are impacting all of our businesses. Expect an expansion of these efforts in the upcoming 2023-24 fiscal year, as we use the results of our latest technology roadmapping effort to define and expand our stakeholder base to help our members stay ahead of electrification, autonomous functions, and other rapidly-advancing technology trends.

Through our Business Intelligence and Statistics initiative, we provide members with the market data and intelligence to help improve their business decision making. NFPA really stepped-up its game in the past year, with the launch of our new, user-friendly Stats Dashboard that is allowing members to gain quick and actionable information from across our entire portfolio of programs. Many of these data programs are unique and one-of-a-kind, since they are sourced directly from the members. We’re planning several more enhancements to these core programs, venturing into information regarding the pace of new technology adoption in our industry as well as the key regulatory updates.

Through our Promote Fluid Power initiative, we provide our members with opportunities and resources to promote themselves and their technology. The biggest success here was, of course, the IFPE trade show in March 2023, which broke all the records for the number of exhibitors, attendees, and the quality of the leads generated. But also growing in impact is our Fluid Power Forum podcast, now with more than 100 episodes and 31,000 downloads, an increasingly key tool in spreading the word about advances in our industry. The best thing we can do is share these episodes in our network to help reinforce fluid power as a modern and thriving technology.

Through our Educated Workforce initiative, we are increasing the number of fluid power-educated students and connecting them to careers in the industry. We do this primarily through our Fast Track to Fluid Power and University Power Partner programs, and we ended this fiscal year with 3 Fast Track Hubs and 5 Power Partner Universities up and running. Through the on-going support of members through our Pascal Giving Society, we are making the plans and investments necessary to scale these key programs to more locations over the next several years.

Our Board is excited by the many opportunities that lie ahead in the coming year, both for NFPA and the fluid power industry as a whole. Many thanks to my fellow Board members for the help they provide in shaping our organization’s and industry’s future. I’m looking forward to working with the Board, staff, and NFPA members to continue growing our organization. I am open to questions and comments as we continue to forge ahead and bring enhanced value to members. I can be reached at tom.hunter@husco.com.

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