National Membership Director Katy Driver Shares Why Associate Members Make the Difference
It is important to provide good customer service; to all ABC members, including potential, new and existing customers. Although ABC does an excellent job in providing service and training for its members, it cannot anticipate all areas of need or completely provide the human resource training many members require. This is where a diverse and strong associate membership base can fill that void and make your chapter a one stop shop for its membership.
ABC SEMI: As contractor members companies continue to grow how important is it for ABC chapters to have a diverse group of associate members to help them address the emerging needs they will have?
Driver: ABC’s strategic goals are designed to add value to our members focusing on the areas of Health and Safety, Political Advocacy, Workforce, and Membership Growth. Since over 61% of our membership is comprised of contractors, amounting to more than 12,500 companies, there seems to be almost infinite opportunity for the association to address industry needs on a daily basis. A key component of the value that a contractor receives when they join ABC, then, is a connection to other businesses that help them achieve their work. Associates and suppliers are fundamental to the success of ABC and ABC members, because they provide the services that keep contractors building! Having a pool of like-minded businesses to work with, whether it be partnering in workers’ compensation programs, liability insurance, accounting and HR assistance, hiring through vetted recruiting firms, or a number of other possible partnerships, is invaluable to contractor members.
ABC SEMI: What issues challenge many of our smaller “mom & pop” contractors in making the move to handling larger contracts and growing their workforce?
Driver: While ABC has many very large contractor companies as members, more than a third of our members have annual revenue less than $3 million. These smaller contractors typically outsource much of the “office” work to focus on the construction side of the business. The relationships between small contractors and ABC associate members who can handle the accounting and insurance and human resources aspects of a job are crucial to the success of the businesses. ABC’s membership is a representation of the full team that it takes to successfully complete a construction job—not only are the boots on the jobsite critical to its success, but every associate and supplier contributes to the finished product. Contractors are stronger because of ABC associate and supplier members, and the associates and suppliers have the opportunity to develop business with the best of the best contractors thanks to ABC membership. It’s a win-win.
ABC SEMI: What would you tell chapters that are not exploring/promoting their associate member services to their fullest potential?
Driver: Customer service is the heartbeat of a chapter. It is the outcome of every effort staff and membership directors put in to achieve a good reputation and goodwill for the association. If there are areas where you can utilize your associate membership to meet a need or expand a service that ABC can provide you are maximizing your chapters customer service. Every time a member pays a positive compliment about ABC, it is because they have got their satisfaction from working with the association and mingling with the members and staff making a positive impact on their companies bottom-line. ABC cannot possible address every need a chapter will have—working through cross promotion and joint efforts with associate members not only enhances ABC’s ability to attract and retain current and new members, but provides new customers and opportunity for our associates.