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Case Study: Unicarrier Forklift Dealers Show CSR Can Elevate Incentive Travel

How can incentive travel contribute to sustainability and create a more uplifting experience? Spend a little time giving back in a Corporate Social Responsibility Program, says Michele Todd, Manager, Marketing, for Mutsubishi Logisnext Americas, a manufacturer of multiple lines of material handling equipment and strategic logistics solutions. 
Leveraging more than 100 years of collective experience in logistics equipment and systems, Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas is a solutions company dedicated to helping “Move the World Forward,” explains Michele Todd, Manager of Marketing in the firm's Marengo, IL location. “Serving as a trusted partner, we deliver industry-defining technology and people-first product support to help our customers achieve their definition of long-term success.”
With an organizational mission to move the world forward, it made sense to incorporate the Corporate Social Responsibility event recommended by Kate Cardoso, Director of Strategic Services at HMI Performance Incentives, who manages the company’s dealer program. Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas, which is a multi-brand manufacturer of leading forklift and logistics equipment backed up with strategic design and support, held this program to support its UniCarriers Forklift brand.

This “Pack for the Sun” annual program, held this year in Riviera Maya in Mexico, is for dealer principals, sales managers and salespeople. The program recognizes about one-third of the company’s 130 or so dealers based on their level of sales performance, broken into territories so that dealers in less populated areas can participate as well. Spouses are included. The program is marketed through ongoing dealer communications. 
Al Kunce, Senior Major Account Manager, Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas, helps pack up boxes. 
Before Covid, the company tested a merchandise program to see if having more people eligible for awards would boost performance, “but everyone wanted to go back to the trip.” She noted that ways to broaden the program with a hybrid approach are under consideration. 
Despite being optional, the CSR activity, held on the fourth day of the trip, attracted about half of the group, so many, in fact, that the event went much faster than anticipated, she says.
Sunday was a welcome reception and dinner; Monday was at leisure; Tuesday and Wednesday featured excursions, including deep-sea fishing, spa credits, golf, a catamaran and snorkel excursion, zip-line and ATV activities. The program concluded Thursday with an awards dinner, with departures on Friday. 
According to Todd, “the CSR activity consisted of boxing up non-perishable food items and hygiene supplies for 60 Mayan families. We worked with HMI and its DMC (destination management company) partner CEO to identify an organization we could support through this initiative – with a focus on food insecurity. Alltournative was the organization identified and between CEO, Alltournative and HMI, they delivered hundreds of pounds of food and supplies to a meeting room at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, where we were staying. The items were laid out in two assembly lines and when the attendees arrived in the morning, they had the opportunity to go through the assembly line putting one of each item into a box or writing some notes of kindness, support, and encouragement at a couple of stations in the room that would then be taped to the completed boxes. The cards were written in Spanish with the help of some Alltournative staff who were there to assist. The entire activity only took about 45 minutes because so many people showed up to help.”
At the end, she continues, “a representative from Alltournative spoke eloquently about the lives and history of the people who would be receiving the boxes – Mayan families who had been in the area for generations. He became emotional talking about the opportunities these Mayan communities now have access to because of Alltournative’s efforts, especially in education and healthcare. It was meaningful listening to Alex, and it made the initiative even more memorable and special for everyone there.” 
The key to success for these programs, says Todd:  Make the event meaningful, optional, and locate it at a convenient time and location. “This program helps give people a perspective, and it was wonderful to be able to give back.”
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