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MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

CFA membership is now more important than ever and we are bringing you this information to begin solidifying your decision and setting the course for your participation to come.

Membership in an association like the Concrete Foundations Association, CFA, should be made based on its ability to inspire and contribute to the growth of your company. It is understandable that through such growth and change, the industry at large is improved. However, a common myth for associations is that they will directly improve or impact your local industry. We’re no different. Rather than professing to help you make better products and deliver significant change to your local market, you have turned to the CFA to provide opportunities for improvement, growth potential in times of opportunity and economies of scale when times are stressed. Contained in the pages that follow are three of the latest programs that your support has helped to create and ones you should be taking advantage of in the months to come.

As we move ahead, we are going to spend great amounts of time and space in this magazine to keep you focused on the programs that can benefit you the most and in some ways, require the least from you. There are certainly benefits to being active and present at our meeting events but we know the effort and expense this requires.  So, take a look at the impressive topics we will soon be covering, many you may not be familiar with or have taken the time to strongly consider as a member bene” t.

  • Member Rewards Program …………………………………In This Issue
  • Insurance Captive …………………………………………….In This Issue
  • Certified Contractor Program …………………………….In This Issue
  • Safety Services Programming (Member Discount)
  • Online Business Networking
  • Company Promotion / Awards & Achievements
  • Industry Regulatory Notices
  • CFA Education and Networking Events
  • Industry Codes, Standards and Guides
  • Customer Advice Resources
  • Business Management Perspectives

CFA MEMBERSHIP REWARDS PROGRAM

Each of you likely belongs to at least one consumer program that provides rebates, kick-backs or incentives for returning your business time and time again. In a way, this develops loyalty and ensures brand recognition but it really solidifies the potential for growth by the company that provides you that reward.

The CFA is in a must-grow mode. After several years of tough decisions by companies just like you to remain a member, we’ve seen many more fail to realize their potential and thus have fallen away from membership. Still, many more have not benefitted from the aspects of membership that you already enjoy. Therefore, to help us multiply the effort bringing companies to the CFA, a points-based reward system has been generated to reward your participation in generating new memberships and helping to return expired companies to membership.

Through this rewards program, your Board of Directors feels that solvency and growth are at their greatest potential. Here is how the program works…

Point 1. Active members listed as a referral on any new or returning membership will receive an award of points based on that membership.

Point 2. Reward Points are redeemable on a 1:1 ratio with 1 point = 1 US Dollar.

Point 3. Reward Points will be awarded according to the following scale for memberships:

a. National Associate Member 50 pts
b. Contractor Member (400 or 600) 50 pts
c. Local Associate Member 25 pts
d. Professional Member 25 pts

Point 4. Points are redeemable by active member companies to provide for free or reduced attendance to the CFA Annual Convention or as a reduction to their annual membership renewal.

Point 5. Reward points have no expiration as long as active membership is maintained. Points will expire immediately on termination of a membership due to standard Association policies.

Point 6. Points will be viewable in an online listing of member companies and their related point totals by all members. Our database system, both in-house and online, tracks the status of all active member Rewards accounts making it quick and effective to see your potential.

Point 7. Points will be noted as part of an Annual Report that CFA Sta$ will look to begin preparing for the membership.

Now, with all that information, let’s take a look at how the Rewards System may work using Jim Bartley, chair of the CFA Membership Committee and his company, The Bartley Corporation.

Bartley Corporation aggressively pursues Basement Systems (a wall contractor), Might Walls of Virginia (a wall contractor), CEC Engineering (an professional firm) and Fly Ash Ready Mix (a local supplier) for membership. All four companies join the Association and place Bartley Corporation in the “Referred By” blank of their form. This is cross-referenced by email from Jim Bartley alerting us to watch for their memberships. Bartley Corp would bank 50 pts ea. for the first two companies and 25 pts ea. for the second two companies as found in the table following Point 3 above. They just received a total of 150 pts.

REDEEMING YOUR POINTS – OPTION 1:

The 2011 CFA Summer Convention rolls around and Jim remembers that they were effective at helping the CFA grow by four members. He does a quick online check of his Rewards Points status as he prepares to register for the 2011 Summer Convention. He sees a balance of 150 pts and locates the points redemption blank on the registration form. Instantly, his attendance to the Convention is reduced by $150, making it that much easier for him to send an extra person to the event. Note: The points can be applied across the board at this Convention reducing the associated fee for extra events, multiple attendees, exhibiting (if he were representing an Associate) or sponsoring.

REDEEMING YOUR POINTS – OPTION 2:

CFA headquarters begins sending out dues renewal notices in May of 2011. Jim catches the second notice for dues renewal that comes across his desk and is ready to approve it for processing. As he reviews the invoice, he sees that the CFA automatically included a line item in the process for his current level of points at 150. The total for annual renewal is adjusted by this amount in dollars. Below that is a check box asking him to verify use of the points to reduce his renewal fee. By not checking, he is indicating that he prefers to leave them there for another time. He decides the time is right to redeem his points and checks the box.

In both of these cases, a CFA member received direct gratification for his role in helping the CFA grow and the CFA gained four new members that were already linked to the network through him.

Your Board of Directors and CFA Management Staff believe that this program will be a direct benefit to you as a proud CFA member and encourage ways of benefitting the industry through your knowledge of companies that build, supply or manufacture and therefore should be plugged in.

Getting started in this approach is quite easy. If you don’t have a copy of the CFA Membership Application, use the one included in this magazine and deliver it to a company you feel would benefit from belonging. One can always be downloaded from our website or you can simply direct the company representative you have in mind to our site for online application or their information to CFA staff. In any of these ways, be sure to have your company or your name listed in the referral box and notify the CFA to watch out for (or help reel in) this membership.

INSURANCE CAPTIVE — a CFA Initiative and Insurance Program Highlights

The CFA has moved one step closer to realizing its self-insurance program. You have one more chance to get involved at the start-up level. Loss histories are being collected and an actuary will soon begin analysis of the risks and losses specific to our industry. If you with to get involved in this effort, please get in touch with CFA at your earliest convenience. Criteria and costs to participate will be higher once the program is opened to the general membership. Below are a few highlights of the program. Contact the CFA if you would like a complete list of questions and answers accumulated over the past couple of years during meetings with the consultants.

THE PROGRAM

The CFA Insurance Program is a Multi-line insurance program covering a broad range of coverages or “lines.” These include commercial general liability (CGL); automobile; workers compensation (except in Ohio and Washington); property/casualty; employment practices liability (EPLI); contractors pollution liability (CPL); professional errors and omissions; railroad protective liability (RPP); owners and contractors protective liability (OCP); and, more. Sub-limits are established for certain lines.

THE CONCEPT

Insured companies pay the same rates they are currently paying for insurance to the CFA Insurance Program. The Program provides the first layer of reinsurance to the policy-issuing company in all lines, but in limited amounts. Other national insurers are secured to cover excess and catastrophic losses. Insurance rates are reduced through detailed analysis and review of loss trends and implementation of policies and programs to reduce and control risks; reduction of overhead; and elimination of coverage of risks unrelated to your work.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

CFA members in the U.S. that work in the residential concrete industry and those companies that manufacture or distribute equipment and supplies used in the industry and meet premium size threshold may apply. Those involved in other related disciplines may apply and be accepted on approval of the Program management and reinsurers. Program acceptance follows a review of company safety practices and other risk factors. Membership in the CFA must be maintained while policies are in force.

RISK MANAGEMENT

The single most effective way to reduce you annual premiums is to reduce the number and cost of your claims. This program focuses on cutting these costs. The CFA Insurance Program provides its insureds with a team of professional trained loss control and other specialists who will advise your local safety staff on all informational issues that control loss costs. ! ere will also be specific visits to participant insureds on a cost-effective basis

DEDICATED CLAIMS UNIT

Unlike the reality with traditional insurance, the CFA Insurance Program insureds have a advocate keeping close watch over their claims and related costs. The CFA Insurance Program insureds benefit from a Dedicated Claims Unit. An aggressive Claims Director serves the Insurance Program. With the Program Claims Unit, insureds always deal with the same claims person and have an opportunity to participate in the claims process. Claim staff members also may travel to insured’s offices in the case of very serious claims or if insureds request a visit. The Claims Director has a quality national claims organization to support the field work in all 50 states.

COMPETITIVE PREMIUMS

The combination of specialized services, “A” rated reinsurers, board supervision, and major account status in the industry o$ ers insureds of the CFA Insurance Program a unique industry specific program to control you long-term costs. In almost all cases, the CFA Insurance Program can provide you comparable or more favorable rates than your current rates while offering an insurance policy tailor-made for the concrete foundations industry.

INSURED DATABASE

A database containing specific information in regards to historical loss information, and certificate of insurance issuance is available to program participants in either report format or electronically upon request. The report is confidential to the insured.

CLAIMS & POLICY SERVICE

Claims and policy service requests such as insurance certificates, auto ID cards, etc. are made to the CFA Program by telephone, fax, or Email to the Program Administrator. Policyholders with access to Internet Email can us quickly, easily, and inexpensively request claim assistance and policy service. The claims handling company has representatives in all 50 states and will respond within three business days (much more quickly than required). Your input and agreement is sought before settlement of any liability claim.

CFA CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

By now, if you have not heard of CFA Certification program, we are clearly not doing our job. This is a fantastic program born out of the interests and needs of CFA members in some very competitive markets and key building code jurisdictions. The program delivers an individual knowledge-based component and a company performance-based component. The two are very important for our industry, as you will discover.

Certification is all around us. A recent survey of construction associations and industry trade groups indicated that more than 90% have instituted a form of certification to assist at the development of quality assurance in their industry. Without certification by the entities most knowledgeable of their related field, the pursuit of control and regulation becomes an interest for government or local building departments. It is for this reason that the CFA instituted the CFA Certified Foundation Contractor program in 2008.

Since inception, the number of companies achieving certified status is now 17. More companies are underway in pursuit of certified status. These companies are beginning to identify the advantage this gives them in marketing to their area with recognized importance and value of certification. Perhaps not a method to increase your  margins immediately but this program certainly becomes viewed as a statement of professionalism to your customers.

One of the first steps in the process to become a certified company is establishing at least one certified technician in the company. The individual knowledge-based component establishes a person in the company as a Certified Technician when they successfully pass an intensive exam covering the industry resources that define and support the residential concrete market. Certified Technicians are an important aspect of that statement of professionalism to your customers. As many companies are finding out, the ability to market that such a person will be involved in or managing your customers next project establishes a value to your work that is difficult or impossible to equal without a similar commitment. Currently, there are 102 individuals that have sat for this certification status and 59 have passed; now representing their company and the CFA.

Q: Why isn’t CFA Certification just another industry hurdle to jump over?

A: CFA’s Certification Program provides the assurance that companies are devoting resources necessary to remain current with the science and technology of their industry. It also provides assurances that companies are properly managed, insured, and that they provide a safe environment for their workers. These are the values to which the mission statement of the program was directed.

Q: Where is the content for this program derived and managed so that it is real to our industry?

A: The program is designed, administered and enforced by companies and individuals who are knowledgeable about the industry they regulate. They Certification Board and the Committee that worked tirelessly to establish the program is comprised of some of the top minds in the residential concrete construction industry. Their vested interest in the industry and their own companies ensures that it is right for yours.

Q: Will this program be accepted locally by my jurisdiction?

A: Although one can never be fully sure of acceptance by outside regulation, this CFA program is proactive and set well ahead of the national certification movement for this industry. The result is a comprehensive, but contractor friendly program that can be used by jurisdictions and businesses seeking certification of residential foundation contractors. Furthermore, the CFA is committed to working with these jurisdictions to understand the comprehensive base for the program and how it can be used to bene” t their interests.

The decision is ultimately yours but this program is designed for your company, by companies just like you and has already been validated by jurisdictions across the country as delivering the quality assurance identified by their needs. Contact the CFA for the next exam opportunities or visit the Certification section of the CFA website, www.cfawalls.org, for more information, the detailed process and requirements and to stay abreast of developing opportunities.

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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