Your Opinion CountsBy Paul Campbell
Article Date: 06-01-2008
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
And your input from recent member-satisfaction research is being translated into action.
We all belong to an association comprised of independent distributors - all with similar issues we deal with on a daily basis. However, there resides within our common framework unique and individual needs, as varied as the climates in which we live.Each business faces individual challenges and opportunities, yet I'm amazed at how many of those challenges and opportunities are shared among AED members. This is where an association can truly add value to its members. Providing help in overcoming common obstacles and providing resources to help take advantage of opportunities is what AED is all about. The challenge lies in identifying individual needs that can be addressed on a national level or the common needs we all share. To do this requires input from all of us. We must be willing to share ideas and concerns and make our voices heard.In January at the Annual Meeting in Chicago, I spoke about the value of AED and aligning it with your needs. The first step in this alignment is getting input from you. To that end, the board of directors decided to conduct an extensive survey of members. Beginning in February of this year, CSM Research was contracted to perform this survey and to gather input and opinions providing the AED and AED Foundation boards with valuable input regarding how AED is doing in meeting individual member needs. The extensive survey, led by Travis Burch (former AED Chairman who is now with CSM Research) was conducted first by phone, with 196 members contacted and interviewed, followed by a Web survey in which 316 surveys were completed.First of all, thanks to those who took the time to answer the survey and share your thoughts and opinions. It is greatly appreciated! Second, your responses provided valuable input as to how AED is doing, what is working, and what needs to change.Survey Says:I'm happy to report that overall, survey respondents were very positive on the direction of the association, its priorities and the value it provides us as members.Overall, survey respondents gave AED a grade of 7.79 out of 10 by phone and 7.63 out of 10 via the Web survey. This means respondents were satisfied overall with how AED is doing in providing value to members and the majority of members stated they were very satisfied. However, areas have been identified where greater value can be delivered, which will increase the value proposition to us as members.These areas include:
Now What?At the Spring Board Meeting held in conjunction with the Government Affairs Conference in Washington D.C., the board of directors met to review survey results. These results were presented in great detail by Travis Burch and demonstrated the tremendous effort and planning that went into this project. At that meeting a task force was assembled to take those results and input, and to align the strategies and offerings of AED to provide the greatest value to you as a member.This task force will gather for a two-day summit in Chicago in mid-June to take your input, overlay it against the offerings and focus of our current strategy and direction, then either shore up those areas where we are on track, or refocus efforts on those areas that need more attention or a change in direction. The results of the task force will then be presented to the board of directors at the summer board meeting for approval. The strategic direction and action items resulting from this process will then be defined, and responsibility for implementation will become guiding principles for AED staff. Over the course of the summer, these plans and objectives will be put in place to ensure that you receive greater benefit and value as a member of AED.The importance of your input to this association can not be overstated. The value you receive as a member is directly proportional to your involvement in the association. Please voice your thoughts and opinions. Let us know what is working, what isn't, or what we can do to be a better advocate for your business. After all is said and done, this is your association. This process does not end with a single survey, regardless of how extensive or thorough. Ongoing feedback from members is a critical element of those associations that rise to the top and are most effective. Your involvement is critical to the success and longevity of AED.
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