27 May, 2022

Strategy Workshop seeks to increase the focus upon end-users

02 September, 2014
One of my favourite sayings is that ‘if you don’t know where you are going – any road will do’. In other words, any Trade Association ‘worth its salt’ has to grow and develop with the changes that inevitably take place in the sector that it represents. That is why, when I first arrived at the BFPA I immediately embarked upon a Strategic Planning exercise to establish a clearer future route for the Association and determine how we are going to best equip ourselves to meet our primary objective of helping members to realise real value from their membership in an ever changing and more challenging business environment. Another popular saying in the Trade Association world is ‘all for one and one for all’. In other words, a good trade association should be run ‘by the members for the members’. That is why, as an integral part of the Strategic planning process, we held a strategy workshop with your BFPA Board and the BFPDA Council to help account for the views and all important opinions of you; the members; in determining the direction in which we take what is your Association. The event was held at the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty just south of Coventry on 4 July and was a great success. The team discussed and debated a number of key questions including a traditional SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and more in-depth analyses including an Ansoff growth matrix and an Open Forum to enable free exchange of ideas. The output was an invaluable collection of learning points and good ideas for helping the Association to both grow whilst reducing over dependency on membership subscriptions and bring even greater added value to the membership services. One of the more interesting issues to arise was the desire among member companies to engage more closely with what might be termed the ‘end-user’ community – i.e. their customers. Traditionally the focus of trade associations has been upon the members; the suppliers of equipment, product and services. However, by broadening our focus to include players further up the supply chain, the Association can meet both its traditional remit for the member companies but also some of the expectations of the end-user community. By acting as a broker for re-enforcing the links within the supply chain trade associations can be as valuable to the end-user market as they are already to companies further back down the supply chain. This could be manifest in the creation of a new end-user category of membership. Myself and the Executive Team will now take the data from the work-shop and over the rest of Summer, will embed it into the overall strategic plan which we hope to publish by mid-Autumn. I encourage interested parties to keep an eye on these developments. These are exciting times and there is much good news to follow. Chris Buxton – BFPA CEO.

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