Twenty or 30 years ago there was a great reason to join ACCA. The same reason people climb Mount Everest…because it’s there! Yes, this was one of the most compelling reasons to join a trade association back then, simply “because it was the right thing to do.” When I took the reins of the association last February I was not convinced that we were on a solid foundation when “doing the right thing” was the overwhelming reason for joining and maintaining membership in this great association.
To be fair, I must note that all the people that get paid to know; would agree that all associations are experiencing the same awakening in their respective industries. If you have not seen other trade associations making major changes in the way they operate and deliver member services, you will in the near future.
There are many basic and bedrock industry specific services or benefits that ACCA has supplied since day one of our existence. Fundamental Codes and Standards establishment, Political Advocacy and the ability to network with peers in our MIX group® program are just a few of the benefits that we alone supply to the industry almost exclusively. Without ACCA you would not know how to size a system in a residential or commercial application. We literally wrote the book on how to size a furnace or air conditioner. We also have supplied all the information you need for duct design and airflow requirements as well as many other codes and standards. Where would our industry be without bedrock publications like Manual “J”?
ACCA has also always had representatives of our industry down on Capitol Hill fighting for our rights as business owners and contractors on many issues from fair labor practices to The Heat Act that supplied big tax credits to commercial customers. Our website contains an enormous amount of information on all of our offerings.
There’s only one catch…aside from the MIX groups® we are supplying the entire industry of contractors these services whether they are a member or not. I’m very thankful that for many years there has been a relatively small group of contractors and manufacturers willing to provide the funding for these basic tools that are so critical to the success of our industry. However, it’s a new day. Today’s contractors and company principals are not willing to join an organization without looking at the value proposition. Specifically, what’s in it for me?
There are many benefits of membership in ACCA that most members are completely unaware of. We have a complete library of training on endless relevant topics in many forms. We have books, videos, webinars, and classes on almost any topic you can think of from how to maintain an HVAC system to how to price the service call to perform that maintenance. Having the material is one thing, but communicating the fact that we have the goods and getting it into the hands of our members in quite another thing. We have a few opportunities every year for our members to attend an annual conference or a Fall forum to deliver the best of training and networking opportunities. While these events are valuable and well attended, they don’t scratch the surface of our entire cadre of information or come close to delivering the value of our resources.
ACCA has spent a great deal of time and money researching exactly what our members need to be successful and exactly how we should deliver the resources. As I write this, we have staff and committees working on ways to develop specific programs and forms of delivery that will enable our members to become and continue to be the best contractors in the industry. We know that every contractor is looking for ways to improve their business both on the technical side and on the business management side. We also know that our members do not want to travel long distances and take precious time away from their businesses to receive training and information. This is why ACCA is spending the time to find ways to enable our members to reach their potential in our industry. We will deliver business and technical training and do it locally to serve our members. Manufacturers, distributors and contractors have a common goal…reach as many customers as possible with our products and services and deliver them with quality and value. We all have the same bottom line and ACCA is looking forward to enabling our industry partners to band together for our mutual success.
-Good things are coming to ACCA members and I’m proud to stand alongside everyone as we travel down the road to success!