NFPA Board Meets, Sets and Advances Agendas for 2020-21 Strategic Task Forces

Eric Lanke headshot 2017

By Eric Lanke, NFPA President/CEO

On October 13-15, 2020, the NFPA Board of Directors met over a series of virtual meetings to review NFPA’s strategic objectives and to set and advance the agendas for its 2020-21 strategic task forces. Many NFPA members are not familiar with the Board’s strategic task forces, which are used each year to address critical issues facing our industry and our association, and to help bring additional voices from outside the Board into those discussions.

Here are the four task forces and the objectives that the Board set for them for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Each task force is themed around one of NFPA’s key ends statements and is designed to help advance the value proposition for members within each key area.


Strategic Task Force 1: Effective Forum

Chair: Paul Cooke, Bosch Rexroth
Board members: John Campbell, Clippard Instrument Laboratory; Jon Goreham, QCC; John Stenz, FORCE America, Tony Welter, Eaton
Non-Board members: Patrick Green, Kraft Fluid Power; Mark Snyder, Festo

Strategy Objective: NFPA provides an effective fluid power forum where NFPA members, OEMs, and related technology partners connect and advance our collective interests.

Task Force Priorities for 2020-21:

  1. Review member product categories and market shares, and set priorities for recruitment.
  2. Identify international companies whose inclusion would benefit U.S. members.
  3. Review developing partnerships with OEM and allied technology associations.
  4. Review ongoing impact of consolidation and adjust mitigation strategies.

Summary of October 2020 Meeting:

Priorities 1 and 3 were discussed. A thorough review of NFPA manufacturer member product categories was performed, including an analysis and any needed updates to reflect the evolution of electrified and IoT-enabled fluid power systems. The “market share” of each product category was reviewed, representing the estimated amount of the product market represented by NFPA members. Based on this analysis, three recruitment priorities were set: hydraulic filters, pneumatic products, and electronic controls. Finally, the allied technology landscape surrounding NFPA was explored, including several associations representing other motion control technologies, the industrial distribution market, and key customer markets. Several partnership opportunities with these associations were discussed, with targeted engagement of certain players in NFPA’s upcoming technology roadmapping process identified as a first priority.


Strategic Task Force 2: Industry Statistics

Chair: Keith Simons, OEM Controls
Board members: Rick Bush, Micromatic; Jeff Hand, ROSS Controls; Scott Meldeau, Norgren
Non-Board members: Joel Edwards, Faster; Paul Ludwig, HED

Strategy Objective: NFPA provides its members with timely and accurate industry statistics and business intelligence that support improved decision-making.

Task Force Priorities for 2020-21:

  1. Review matrix of market information programs, member needs assessment, and set priorities for new program development.
  2. Launch new Business Intelligence survey program.
  3. Review changes to Confidential Shipment Statistics program.

Summary of October 2020 Meeting:

Priority 1 was discussed. The matrix of market information programs provides a mechanism to ensure that NFPA’s portfolio of programs is providing the data and qualitative information NFPA members need to improve their decision-making. After a detailed review of the matrix and of a member needs assessment, the addition of leading indicators to NFPA’s popular Stats Toolkit was approved as the developmental priority for the year. A budget for purchasing needed leading indicator data sets was approved.


Strategic Task Force 3: Promote Fluid Power

Chair: David Price, Hydraforce
Board members: Nicole Farrell, Fluidyne Fluid Power; Jim Kaas, Iowa Fluid Power; Roscoe Wallace, Kaiser Aluminum
Non-Board members: Christina Logan, Scott Industrial Systems; Markus Rauchhaus, Nott Company

Strategy Objective: NFPA provides opportunities and resources for its members to promote the unique strengths and inherent advantages offered by modern fluid power technology.

Task Force Priorities for 2020-21:

  1. Review and monitor creation and execution of a comprehensive industry promotion strategy.
  2. Identify and monitor progress on connecting members to future forward technology trade shows.
  3. Launch of content strategy for promotion of cutting-edge fluid power.

Summary of October 2020 Meeting:

Priorities 1 and 2 were discussed. Our current industry promotion strategy was reviewed, which focuses on three key audiences: (1) Fluid power “buyers” – OEMs or others in a position to buy more fluid power products; (2) Fluid power “users” – Machine users or people that benefit from their use that can increase their appreciation of fluid power through engagement with our promotional content; and (3) Students – young people that can be influenced to pursue fluid power education/career paths. Various programs designed to engage with these audiences were reviewed. Programmatic focus was placed on trade shows, and the role that NFPA can play in helping to promote fluid power at both “defensive” shows – those that represent markets where fluid power is losing market share to alternate technologies – and “offensive” shows – those that represent markets with true growth opportunities for fluid power. A list of shows and fluid power promotions that could occur there were reviewed and prioritized for budgeting in future years.


Strategic Task Force 4: Educated Workforce

Chair: Tom Hunter, Husco
Board members: Ray Chambers, Muncie Power Products; Jeff Herrin, Danfoss; Jennifer Parmentier, Parker Hannifin; Jim Slone, SunSource
Non-Board members: Jeff Behling, Stauff; Bill Clippard, Clippard Instrument Laboratory

Strategy Objective: NFPA helps increase the number of technical college and university students educated in fluid power and connects them to careers in the fluid power industry.

Task Force Priorities for 2020-21:

  1. Review and monitor plans to scale NFPA’s workforce programs to influence key member geographies.
  2. Develop competencies for electrical, computer science, and controls; and engage and deploy them with education partners.
  3. Design and launch of intern program.

Summary of October 2020 Meeting:

Priority 1 was discussed. The status of NFPA’s University Power Partner program was reviewed and determined effective at engaging universities in fluid power programs and connecting them to NFPA members. Growth objectives to increase the number and regional diversification of Power Partner universities were reviewed and approved. The status of NFPA’s Fast Track to Fluid Power program was also reviewed and determined effective at helping to create an initial pipeline of talent from targeted technical colleges into NFPA member companies. Growth objectives to increase the number and regional diversification of Fast Track Hubs were reviewed and approved.


Each strategic task force will be meeting in conjunction with the February 2021 and June 2021 Board meetings to continue advancing our work in each of these important areas. Let me express my thanks and appreciation for their work and participation. An update following each of their meetings will appear in NFPA News.

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