President's Charge: Time to Break a Sweat
Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012
When you become a member
of an association,
what are your expectations?
When you join a gym, for
instance, do you expect to write
the check and then improve your
health without breaking a sweat?
It may sound cliché, but you only
get out of life what you put into
it. The same holds true for membership
in an association like The
Powder Coating Institute. Your membership will be
exactly what you make of it.
Speaking from personal
experience, it was eight or
nine years ago when
considered dropping their
PCI membership because
they didn’t see its value.
Tom Grady and I, though,
decided to take a chance
and become more involved.
What we quickly discovered
is that, sure enough, the more involved we got, the
more we got out of our membership. And the value of
that is priceless. From networking to technical services
to the trade show to this magazine, the value of membership
is worth volumes more than the cost to join.
Networking. There are a number of different
aspects to networking within the organization. There
is the ability to network with different tiers within the
organization—the equipment suppliers, the pretreatment
suppliers, the consultants, etc. There is a big
value in learning what is going on at these different
levels. There is value in what you get informationwise,
both from the association itself and from those
networking contacts. Getting involved with the association’s
committees will lead you down other paths. If
you become very active in the ARE (Application &
Recovery Equipment) Committee, for example, that
will open the door to becoming part of the training
programs that PCI offers. There is so much value in
being able to stand in front of new people entering into
the industry. You are perceived as an expert from your
company, giving you the ability to build equity. In a
sense, you are advertising yourself, your company and
your products, because you are given the platform in
which to educate others. There’s a huge value in that.
Website. As I mentioned in my President’s Charge
the digital edition of the Spring 2012 issue, we recently
revamped the website. It is chock full of resources
for our members. Being included as a PCI member
and mentioned as such on the PCI website offers global
visibility. If you look at the money that can be spent
on an annual basis marketing a company and compare
it to what PCI membership
costs, that membership is
not really a very big
expense at all—especially
when you consider the
value that can be gleaned
from it just in potential
visibility on the PCI website
Technical. Our technical
tremendous resources for our member companies,
especially when you look at custom coaters and OEMs
from the standpoint of certification. Being able to set
themselves apart from the competition is important.
For many years, our Custom Coater members were
very upset about the fact that anyone could set up a
powder coating line and coat parts and put those parts
out there trying to compete with them. The nonmembers
didn’t seem to be doing the quality and the
level of sophistication of pretreatment and preparing
the part—and even testing the part—to ensure that
they met specifications. We are able to go out there as
an independent association and certify companies to
specific standards. If they are a PCI-certified applicator
at various levels, there is intrinsic value in being
able to separate themselves from their competition
and what they do in the marketplace. It is a great separator
for them. Also, we offer a low-cost independent
lab test to our member companies—lower than they
would get on the open market.
Trade Shows. Again, when you look at member
companies who become active, they have the ability to
present papers and so forth at the trade show. Again,
this markets your company and gets you out there as
an expert in the field. Members also get cut rates for
floor space on the trade show.
Powder Coated Tough magazine. According to a
survey of our membership, the association’s official
publication is looked upon as the No. 1 value of membership.
This magazine gives members the ability to
promote themselves in the best magazine in the industry.
As far as being totally focused on powder coatings,
there is no comparison to any other magazine out
there. Member companies get priority in everything
that goes on within the magazine. We go to them first
for case studies and technology articles, and they are
given cut-rate advertising.
Become involved. The more involved you get, the
more you will get out of the association. If you just pay
for the gym membership and never hop on the treadmill,
you will not see results. So don’t just pay your
association membership bill and then not participate.
Go to committee meetings. Attend a webinar. Present
story ideas to Powder Coated Tough. It’s time to break a
sweat and see results!
Bob Cregg serves as President of The Powder Coating Institute
and can be reached at email@example.com.