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CFA Strategic Action Plan 2007

This past October, the CFA Board of Directors and several interested CFA members met in Salt Lake City, Utah for a daylong strategic planning workshop. This was the first such effort since 2003 when a similar workshop was conducted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The beginning of this effort identified one primary motivator for the theme of the day—the CFA needs to continue identifying to its members and the industry just how much work is being done on their behalf. Take a moment to refl ect on your time with the CFA. What do you currently receive? What do you currently know about your association? Chances are you have barely even scratched the surface in understanding the breadth and depth of CFA’s benefits.

Following is the work plan that was created from this Strategic Planning effort. There will be considerable information presented to you in the months ahead. Perhaps you have already noticed some of this new look approach to our members. Regardless, the CFA continues to be about members. However, we need you. A successful association cannot be run by a few for many, it has to be run by many contributing and working together to maximize the probability of impact.

Let us hear from you regarding your thoughts on this next two-to three-year period of the CFA as defined by the goals below. Where will you fit in? What do you have to say about bringing this information to your company or jurisdiction? We look forward to making this reality.

CFA Staff

GOAL 1

Improve retention of membership by reducing the number of non-renewing companies through proactive efforts.

Philosophy: Instead of focusing efforts on chasing new members, for the next three years, efforts should focus on retaining members, especially in light of the challenging economy. It is believed that if retention improves, potential members also will see the value, and membership will increase.

Measurement: Retention should improve to show a 50 percent reduction from 2006 non-renews to 2007.

Strategy 1: Implement a proactive effort to maintain members. The primary components of this strategy involve better communications and tracking of our members. Based on survey responses that have been received to date and additional responses that will be garnered, CFA Staff has prepared an implementation plan for a member communication database that is separate of the current online system. CFA also focus on improving the recognition of existing services and deliverables to the members as well as increasing the offerings in response to the identified needs. Ultimately, the goal is to strengthen the plan for recruitment and retention of CFA members, vital to the vitality of the association, through means including association promotion literature.

Strategy 2: Better serve experienced members/those in mature markets. This strategy builds on the identified needs of the first strategy by targeting a focus on those markets that have been strong throughout the history of the CFA. Staff and Committees will develop a routine communication process to the membership to highlight significant areas like code development and company certification.

Strategy 3: Provide members with tools and resources related to running their business. Through the process of survey and response, this strategy will be to develop tangible educational events and resources that companies can receive that focus on business practices and solutions. The operation of a company is often what separates the CFA member from other foundation companies in a given market. Identifying these differences and using them to further the growth of all CFA members will be the specific goal of Staff and Committees. Included in this strategy will be the continued development of a CFA Insurance program for all business insurance needs. Finally, the development of a strengthened network that is not solely based on regional or annual meetings will be a primary target. The creation of “mixed groups” of company representatives across markets will celebrate the diversity and facilitate continued success in business development.

Strategy 4: Better serve existing members as a resource on emerging trends and issues. The changing market is the focus of this strategy. Staff and Committees will place an emphasis on identifying trends and supporting the membership with information that can best prepare them to take advantage of these opportunities. Sustainability, code adoption, cross-cultural work forces, immigration reform and OSHA standards are a few of the industry trends that will be addressed through these efforts.

Strategy 5: Increase the marketability of concrete foundations and the CFA through the creation of better online services.

The CFA website currently enjoys a monthly traffic of nearly 12,000 visitors and more than 98,000 hits. Through analysis of this traffic, we have concluded that a very minor percentage of this traffic is from active CFA members. This strategy specifies the continued attention to www.cfawalls.org.

Through recent survey responses, it is clear that most members do not fully understand the depth of information available. Staff and Committees will focus on identifying key areas that members should be using regularly. Further development of significant content and facilitating more intuitive use

will also be a goal. Opportunities

for improvement such as online

forums, blogs or user groups will

be considered.

Strategy 6: Target potential members based on lists provided by suppliers.

The final strategy in this goal focused on sustaining the growth of the CFA is to continue working with national suppliers to the industry that are members of the CFA to identify the estimated 8,000 foundation contractors across North America. By identifying many of the same tangibles that will be promoted for retention to these prospective members, a greater penetration and representation of the market will be possible.

GOAL 2

Dedicate efforts to marketing and promotion to increase awareness about CFA to both current and potential members.

Philosophy: Marketing efforts need to be revitalized within the CFA to grow brand awareness and develop an action plan for completing initiatives. Membership growth will come if resources are devoted to marketing initiatives.

Measurement: Initiatives reach completion and membership grows by 10 percent.

Strategy 1: Increase awareness about all that CFA does. Marketing the CFA is perhaps the best way to describe this strategy. Attention will be given to the development of new materials such as position papers or tech sheets; brochures and flyers; technical articles and an “elevator speech”. Staff and Committees will also look to improve existing materials and bring them into a more current state. Coinciding with the development of more effective materials, Staff will also look at opportunities to create educational programs to help members become more conversant in the technical materials and find ways of delivering more regular education opportunities to jurisdictions. Finally, publicity generates significant interest and therefore members will be encouraged to continue providing content, story ideas and insights to seed future components.

GOAL 3

Improve member involvement in Association efforts.

Philosophy: In order to accomplish our goals, alleviate burn-out and grow the organization, it is crucial that more members become involved in Association efforts.

Measurement: Double the number of persons involved in CFA committees and obtain a 75 percent participation in the CFA Committee Day(s).

Strategy 1: Strengthen the size and participation on committees by making it easier for people to get involved.

This strategy is aimed at defining a more robust committee structure to serve the CFA. This includes identifying the opportunities and encouraging member companies to think throughout their company for expertise to involve through volunteer efforts.

A formal Committee Day will occur during the annual Summer Convention and together with scheduled teleconferences. By expanding the expertise base for these committees, the impact will broaden in our efforts. Board members will seek to become liaisons to committees with non-Board chair positions. CFA Staff will devise an evaluation process for involvement and activity to report to the Board of Directors. In addition, Staff will increase the visibility of those volunteers and the broad committee efforts through Concrete Facts and www.cfawalls.org to promote the effort and attract further involvement.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us