New buying group takes aim at independents

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A new buying group for independent boat builders has been formed – the Affiliated Marine Manufacturing Group.

AMMG, a builder-owned association, has been established “to enhance the profitability and financial strength of the members through thoughtful vendor selection and aggressive contract negotiation,” according to a recent statement from the group.

“Our primary focus will be to strengthen current relationships and foster new ones while strictly adhering to a policy of fiscal accountability and disclosure,” said Linda Williams, president.

While Williams acknowledged that several such organizations currently exist, she said, “the continued growth of the industry, increased government regulation, and the necessity for cost control have created this opportunity.”

“It affords manufacturers the chance to direct and control how group purchases and contracts are handled,” said Williams. “As president, my role is to follow the direction of the membership and provide technical and management support to the group. Decision making authority as to policy, supplier selection, contract negotiation, membership and related issues rests solely within the membership.”

She further explained that AMMG members will select a chair of the board to serve a pre-determined term of service, and all appointments to committees, designation of member representatives and related decisions will rest with the membership.

Williams said builders’ and suppliers’ “willingness to consider our proposal and offers of cooperation have exceeded even our most optimistic estimates.”

While the group will welcome manufacturers of any size, Williams said in an interview today that the greatest opportunity rests with small to mid-size independent boat builders.

“Our target market is those builders who are not affiliated, either by omission or by intention, and those who are seeking to change the status quo,” she explained. “In addition, geographically there are several areas of the country where there is no buying group presence. We hope to move into those regions and offer builders a chance to pool their resources and take advantage of the enhanced purchasing power of a group.”

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