Association Supply Chain Advocacy

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.

Association Supply Chain AdvocacyClick here to receive your free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement”

Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes

advocacy drives business outcomes

For leading Associations, their mantra is clear Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes. These organizations collaborate with their boards to make sure that the Association’s Advocacy Strategies reflect the growth challenges and opportunities that their members care most about. Even though the U.S. economy grew at a brisk 3.5% in the third quarter of 2016 growth forecasts for 2017 remain mixed. What also remains to be seen is just how much disruptive technologies and policies of the new Administration will impact the business landscape in the new year.

What is becoming increasingly more clear is how Associations can accelerate their business impact for their members in 2017. There is already evidence that CEO’s are leveraging organizational resources to engage their members in ambitious policy and regulatory agendas. In doing so these Associations are key allies in helping their members overcome challenges, reduce costs, and in several cases enter new markets.

Policy Priorities Mirror Industry Outcomes

Associations including the Global Cold Chain Alliance, GCCA,  and the American Bakers Association, ABA, utilize their Advocacy Strategies to link member dues investments to the cost reduction and top line growth outcomes that their members seek.  GCCA’s strategic plan incorporates advocacy and business outcomes and ABA emphasizes the impact of its advocacy strategies in an annual video. The Fertilizer Institute’s, TFIAdvocacy Strategy is laser focused on helping its members manage its costs through a slow growth cycle. Each of these organizations demonstrate how advocacy drives business outcomes.

The Board leaders and the Association are collaborators and make sure policy priorities reflect the challenges and opportunities facing the industry per Heidi Biggs Brock, President and CEO, at the Aluminum Association.

Engaging the Board on External Issues

As the global marketplace grows more increasingly complex some Associations have found it difficult to increase board attendance and active participation at their meetings. Organizations who structure their board meetings as more of a “knowledge sharing” and strategic focus for attendees are finding higher levels of interest and engagement.

Measuring Advocacy and Policy Outcomes

Advocacy Drives Business OutcomesShowing how advocacy delivers a return on member engagement is a critical element of what organizations like the Aluminum Association provide for their members. Being able to demonstrate how your organization measures and tracks these outcomes is especially impactful in the minds of the dues paying member.

Expanding Advocacy Impact

Building and recruiting allies inside and outside your industry is a staple for Associations who seek to magnify the impact that they can deliver for their members. Identifying who else needs to be at the table to help your organization build an even greater base of support is essential.

 Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes

In an uncertain world board leaders and members insist upon direct return from their investment of time and financial resources. The Aluminum Association, the American Bakers Association, the Fertilizer Institute, the Global Cold Chain Alliance, and several others have already transformed their organizations. Through tightly focused Advocacy Strategies Today’s Associations are upping their game and helping industries reshape the external business environment for their members. They are doing so by communicating how Advocacy drives business outcomes.

Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes

 

 

Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available upon request for all Association Executives at Potomac Core – Association Consulting

 

Association Relevance

Association Relevance Despite Market Turbulence

In an era of unending economic challenges and uncertainty, industries must be relevant in order to grow. KPMG’s 2016 report “Setting the Course for Growth: CEO Perspectives” underscores how today’s CEO is laser focused on staying relevant in a turbulent global market. In order to remain relevant to their members Trade Association CEO’s focus more on understanding industry challenges then helping drive industry outcomes. Achieving Association Relevance Despite Market Turbulence is how CEO’s can position their organizations for long term growth and durability.

Disruptive Advocacy Strategies

Disruptive Advocacy Strategies

Can Disruptive Advocacy Strategies unlock industry growth and cost saving opportunities for your members in a slow growth economy?  While the possibility of a recession seems unlikely this year, growth remains a challenge for many industries. According to the Conference Board, U.S. growth in 2016 is forecast at 2.0% while Global growth is forecast slightly higher at 2.5%. As increasing regulatory oversight dominates the federal and global landscape, building an agency focused strategy on behalf of your members can pay dividends for the industry and for your association.

Accelerating Member Engagement

accelerating member engagement

 

Accelerating Member Engagement

According to a recent CNBC post “earnings are expected to be down by some 4 percent year over year, that is an 8-percent reduction from previous estimates.” How does this or any financial news connect to Association member engagement? What happens today influences how executives make decisions about where to invest their precious time.

Is Member Satisfaction A Solution?

No, not really. Under the watchful eye of shareholders, investors, and regulators an executive continually seeks better operating margins and top line growth. Interest in the Association’s success, member benefits, products or services won’t get or keep their attention for long. Promotional materials including what “we do for you” doesn’t really matter either. And special discounts bring them in the front door this year and out the back door next year.

Members don’t really care about the association’s “outputs.” They only care about “outcomes” that address their business/ professional challenges and opportunities. Everything else is just noise.

Business Strategy Conversations

Engagement is not about an Association. Instead, it’s all about developing solutions that improve market and growth positioning, boosting operating performance, and recruiting and maintaining high performing talent. Having conversations about these issues and creating opportunities to share knowledge and develop solutions with other members can accelerate member engagement.

Long Term Positioning

accelerating member engagementThere are no “one-trick” ponies when it comes to member engagement. Aligning the Association as a strategic partner is a long term strategy to:

Accelerating Member Engagement

Quarterly earnings reports, monetary policy, and the value of the dollar all matter. Aligning your Association as an external strategic partner to build solutions and solve problems can accelerate member engagement.

Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com.

member perspective

Advocacy or Business Outcomes?

Association executives inside and outside of Washington, DC sometimes struggle to secure key executive participation in advocacy meetings with Congressional representatives or regulatory agencies. Do members perceive these meetings as another Association “output” or as an opportunity to drive their business outcomes? If it’s the former, executives are hesitant to leave their office or rearrange their schedule for something not linked to a business outcome.

Strategic Member Engagement

advocacyMembers care about “outcomes” for themselves, their companies, their constituencies, and their customers.  Despite an improving economy, today’s executives face more pressure than ever to innovate, improve operating margins and grow top line revenue. If advocacy programs are viewed as “outputs” (events, journal, newsletters, etc.) chances of participation are low.

In order to change the conversation and accelerate participation and member engagement, all discussions should be focused on member business outcomes instead of your Association’s outputs.

Member Business Challenges

Associations must have sufficient insights into external and operational challenges and opportunities of your members. Most of these challenges apply to both trade association and professional society members.  However, they could have a different perspective based upon whether the member you are talking with is wearing their “company hat” or their “individual hat.” If you are not surfacing many of these issues, you may not be asking the right questions or have not built relationships with the right contacts at your member companies.

Advocacy or Business Outcomes?  

What are the key steps to driving accelerated participation in your advocacy programs? Focus on business outcomes to change the conversation, discuss members’ external & operational challenges, and facilitate board level strategic discussions about member business objectives. As competition for member dues and participation increases, moving away from Association “outputs” to member business outcomes can help your organization achieve the competitive positioning it seeks.

advocacyFree eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com.

Can 1 Core Strategy Reverse One Society’s Fortunes?

Can 1 Core Strategy Reverse One Society’s Fortunes? For SPI, the Society for the Plastics Industry, the 2009 recession presented an open window of opportunity. Data driven strategies, and competitive assessments started the organization’s transformative and difficult process.

Embrace the Future

SPI’s leadership team seized upon their opportunity to develop what authors Chris Zook and Jim Allen call business boundary definitions & marketplace differentiation (in their book “Profit From the Core, Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence”, copyright 2010 Bain and Company).

core strategySeeing the organization as “all things to all people” William R. Carteaux, SPI’s President & CEO, worked with the Board to narrow SPI’s vision, and build a business model that could drive the Plastics sector’s growth throughout the United States.

Industry Collaboration

SPI’s new boundary definition now includes brand owners. For example, Coca Cola, Pepsi & General Mills now participate in the Brand Owner Council. They would join with groups reflecting material suppliers, processors, and equipment manufacturers to reflect the entire plastics sector’s legislative and regulatory agenda.

1 Core Strategy

The 1 Core Strategy combines a flexible business model and constant member engagement to deliver value and motivate participation:

SPI funds legislative, regulatory, education and training tools to help members achieve business objectives. As priorities change so does budget investment to support members in either advocacy or industry training programs.

Carteaux spends 80% of his schedule meeting & listening to member concerns. Through Social Media and staff engagement, staff is a listening post. A new AMS platform & Website, planned for 2014 will enhance organizational tracking &     their call to action capacity.

Can 1 Core Strategy Reverse One Society’s Fortunes?

core strategyA refocused SPI sees dues and revenue losses in a rear view mirror. Core Strategies transformed the organization. New members enroll almost every day, conference attendance is growing and member dues retention since 2012 is 100%.

 

 

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

core strategy

Can 2 Pain Point Strategies Drive One Society’s Revenue Growth?

pain pointCan 2 Pain Point Strategies Drive One Society’s Revenue Growth? Pain point strategies continue to help Associations and Societies deploy services that help companies survive and thrive. Just ask Lawrence D. Sloan, President & CEO, Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA)( http://www.socma.com/).

From his arrival at the 200+ member specialty chemical manufacturing organization through today, Sloan continually meets with members in their plant facilities. Using a “shoe leather” approach, these meetings have brought about program changes helping realign SOCMA closer to the business needs of its membership. Based on member feedback and gridlock on Capitol Hill, SOCMA has realigned the organization’s advocacy strategy to a heavier emphasis on improving regulations and the regulatory process.

 2 Pain Point Strategies

In today’s competitive environment, membership organizations are aggressively positioning themselves against competitors. Since some companies only choose one membership, effective market differentiation and member ROI could determine either a renewal or a resignation:

1. Member Centric.  With Washington, DC, gridlock inhibiting progress in legislative advocacy, SOCMA uses multiple avenues to advocate issues and concerns impacting the industry, including leveraging its members to make their case to key regulators. Achieving needed regulatory reforms for the specialty chemical sector can help reduce compliance costs.

 2. Make a Difference.  SOCMA’s no-cost member service is an environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) management system. With the majority of its members being small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), they needed an EHS&S program that went beyond the one-size-fits-all approach of programs like Responsible Care. Consequently, they established their ChemStewards® program in 2005 to meet the unique needs of the batch, custom and specialty chemical industry and its membership.

Can 2 Pain Point Strategies Drive One Society’s Revenue Growth?

pain pointSince 2009, a pain point focus helped SOCMA drive 18% retention improvement and double-digit non-dues revenue growth. Not yet satisfied, Sloan plans more improvements in SOCMA’s value proposition and an accelerated new member growth campaign.

 

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

pain point

1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement

association member engagement1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement.  Implementing a board mandate, Security Industry Association (http://www.securityindustry.org), CEO Don Erickson encourages industry collaboration throughout the Association’s landscape.

The strategy is reflected in programs and services and visibly connects the Association’s business model to member business objectives.  Financial performance metrics reinforce this approach: retention, new members and event participation are all net positive.

What is the 1 New Strategy? 

Breaking past traditional political & legacy issues, SIA’s utilization of industry collaboration is opening new windows of opportunities. It’s also identifying new ways to support their member business growth objectives.  Some examples of the Association’s outreach includes:

            • Membership Diversification
            • Alliance Building with Other Industry Associations
            • Community Building

Member Objectives and SIA Business Model

Another key element of SIA’s transformation is the increasing their levels of company support. Building past primary membership contacts within an individual company, SIA is achieving member depth through reinvigorated strategies implemented by the membership team to reach General Counsels and C Suite officers and engage them in their areas of interest. The end result is higher levels of participation and strong member retention.

Collaborate & Grow

Under the umbrella of Alliance Building, CEO Erickson & his team methodically work to deliver programs that move the needle for their members. Increasing investment in online and in person training are just one example for what’s on tap for SIA members in 2014.

1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement

As membership climbs, SIA’s almost 500 members who comprise the value chain of the electronic and physical security industry view the Association as a necessary strategic business partner. Key metrics confirm growing industry support too, retention consistently over 90% and average growth of almost 10% per year.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

association member engagement

 

Association Membership Not Growing?

association membershipAssociation Membership Not Growing? With senior management teams developing next year’s budgets, it’s good a time to conduct a survey and assess your associations impact. The results and a competitive market assessment will be helpful in constructing a membership growth strategy. Associations who have not experienced membership growth will find this approach helpful.  It will reveal strengths, opportunities, and weaknesses, all of which can be leveraged into actionable growth strategies.

Laser Market Focus

Individuals and corporations make membership decisions based on their Association’s ability to impact priorities that matter most to them. Whether it be legislative, regulatory, training, or certification related, they are all evaluated. Associations that convert actionable data into tangible solutions will improve their retention and growth opportunities.

Relevance

Companies conduct internal assessments before they join or renew Association memberships. Members “stay or leave” and prospects “join or go somewhere else” based upon their perception of an organization’s impact. They measure “relevance” as an Association’s capacity to help companies or individuals achieve their business, professional, or personal objectives.

Quantify and Qualify

Impact surveys should become part of an Association’s DNA. Why? Organizations that consistently benchmark products and services based on their marketplace are better positioned that those who don’t.

The impact survey is all about member/prospect “up at night” issues. Answer these key questions:

  1. What is the financial impact on professional and or corporate business objectives?
  2. How do current programs, services, and the advocacy agenda address the financial impact of “up at night” issues?
  3. Do proposed program changes or new initiatives help members and prospects achieve success?
  4. From the member and prospect vantage point, what else can the Association do? 

Association Membership Not Growing?

Associations who want to grow should be seen as strategic partners. Once your Association is viewed as a strategic partner, membership growth and higher retention follow. Keep in mind that several Associations already using this approach have seen double digit growth. Why not give it a try? A growth formula you can use immediately:

Member Impact Survey & Competitive Assessment + Actionable Growth Strategies = Membership Growth.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

association membership