Association Supply Chain Advocacy


President & CEO

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Association Supply Chain Advocacy

Association Supply Chain Advocacy can be a game changer for members. By uniting the Supply Chain through Associations members can better influence the destiny of their company and their Industry in ways they could not do on their own. Getting and bringing an entire Supply Chain to the table at an Association is a heavy lift but the long term impact will make the effort yield substantial member ROI.

Association Supply Chain Advocacy is Fueled by Actionable Research

Organizing a robust data collection process that includes Associations in the Supply Chain will build actionable information. Having this research will create proactive opportunities to build a collaborative Association Supply Chain Engagement Strategy with Board, Senior Staff, and other Associations from the Supply Chain that includes:

  1. Comprehensive Industry Research – Supply Chain Interviews and survey research including segmented business challenges and growth opportunities.
  2. Industry Brainstorming – Creating new and unique activities for the Supply Chain to collaborate and create a growth focused business environment.
  3. Industry Planning & Roadmap – Highly focused and measurable activities that are continually evaluated by the Industry Supply Chain.

These steps build a plan that identifies the role that each Association in the Supply Chain plays in carrying out its Advocacy Strategy.  Instead of a competing with each other, Associations transform into Supply Chain collaborators. In this scenario each Association in the supply chain has clearly established roles, deliverables, and accountability for Industry Advocacy outcomes.

Association Supply Chain Advocacy Equals More Concentrated Effort to Mitigate Emerging Industry Challenges

In a dynamic global economy, new impediments and opportunities will continually surface. Having an Association Supply Chain Advocacy Strategy positions Industries to more quickly and effectively respond. For example, threats in States and in local government are an increasing part of Advocacy strategies. Bringing the impact of an Industry with an Association Supply Chain accelerates response time and improves chances of success.

Recently, the Soft Drink Industry faced an onslaught of proposed Soda Taxes in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in Cook County, Illinois. An impressive advocacy strategy by the American Beverage Association helped the Industry beat back local efforts to impose new taxes that would have been harmful. Unfortunately, this is just a beginning as warning signs point to an increasing amount of challenges from State and Local government. If Associations have members who manufacture and sell products in global markets, then they too will face regulatory and product standards challenges.

Association Supply Chain Advocacy Means Doing Fewer Things Exceptionally Well

As Boards define future success measurements for Associations, it’s a safe bet that they will want fewer activities that require less time and money. Operating margins are a continual focus for Executives and demonstrating increasing levels of efficiency is something they expect. Since Advocacy is a core component of Associations (especially Trade Associations), this integrated approach will be well received. This likely means doing fewer things exceptionally well because your Association may eliminate activities not connected to the Advocacy core.

Association Supply Chain Advocacy is Already Underway

Associations are delivering direct returns on Supply Chain Advocacy through highly focused Advocacy activities:

American Bakers Association – Through the Grain Chain the ABA utilizes direct Industry engagement to surface and address regulatory and legislative matters that add costs to the Baking Industry. The Association published an annual ROI report to highlight their Supply Chain Advocacy.

Jewelers of America – Working through the Industry Supply Chain, JA positions its advocacy to work to continually assess risk and maintain consumer confidence. The Board and the members view the Association as their vehicle to drive results that support their business outcomes.

National Marine Manufacturers Association – The Association effectively utilizes an impressive supply chain advocacy approach to continuously help the Recreational Boating industry keep costs in line.

Global Cold Chain Alliance –  Through its Strategic Planning process the Board asked GCCA to play a role in reducing the costs of regulatory compliance. The organization has forged relationships with regulatory agencies that have led in some situations to lower costs of compliance.

NPES –  Advocacy is one of the key vehicles connecting global print equipment manufacturers and suppliers with its customers. Through an external working group, NPES is linking all aspects of the Industry Supply Chain to help the Industry impact its business challenges and outcomes.

Association Supply Chain Advocacy

Eliminating competitive boundaries between Associations in the Supply Chain helps Industries address emerging threats from Federal, State, and Local Government through a heavily concentrated Advocacy Strategy. What’s more this strategic approach helps Associations increase their relevance by accelerating Industry impact in the marketplace. As Board Leaders seek greater efficiency and solutions to their business challenges, they expect all organizations to work together for the good of the Industry. Meeting this new reality is a hand and glove strategy for Associations who want to energize member engagement and increase Advocacy Impact for their members. This could be the dawn of Member Engagement 3.0.

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