As often happens after I return from business travel, I find myself sitting here at my desk with a pile of business cards and scribbled notes from folks who said they would like to get more involved in NASSTRAC or would like to connect with one of our members for help with a problem or the opportunity to work together. I’m always excited to have members step up, so I’m taking the time to respond to these requests doing what we can to ignite the connections and help our members help one another. I’m thrilled by the willingness and commitment of our members to get on a call, offer advice and feedback, suggest solutions to a problem, or help connect with another member.
It is NASSTRAC’s responsibility to ensure our members know we are working hard for them to deliver value for their membership dollars, but consistently delivering that value is a challenge in today’s lighting fast, nanosecond world. While I appreciate the remarkable people who step up and engage (and they deserve our thanks and appreciation), I wonder about our other members and prospective members…who are your NASSTRAC Friends? Who do you reach out to when you need advice, or help in sourcing a provider, career advice, or just need to toss around some ideas and potential solutions to a problem you may be struggling to resolve?
I know that NASSTRAC isn’t the only association confronted with lack of member engagement and I find myself wondering why. I know there are limited resources for time, attention, and discretionary dollars for associations like ours. Yet without those dollars and your support we cease to exist. I believe our goal of an engaged membership that communicates with one another is important and serves both our membership and the industry we serve.
In the past, through our many communications, we have shared a number of stories of NASSTRAC members helping one another and depending on the relationships they have formed within NASSTRAC, allowing them to reach out in time of need and know that someone will be there to support them. This doesn’t happen via text or snapchat…or Instagram or LinkedIn or Facebook. It is the result of building face to face relationships over time through their involvement in an industry association. While social media may have its place in the business environment, members who view their interactions with NASSTRAC as a two-way partnership find the commitment to be professionally and personally fulfilling.
I was fortunate that I always worked for companies who supported association membership not only financially, but allowed my participation on committees, task forces, etc. Back in the day (was it really that long ago?) companies felt it a worthy cause to support professional groups. Their support helped the associations to grow and prosper and allowed them to reach out into the community to assist even more members.
As part of the supply chain, transportation has struggled to gain a seat at the table. Even as we see SCM professionals move into the board room, transportation still seems to be in the back seat, though it does tend to get a lot of notice when things go wrong (port issues, weather problems, etc.). Given the current volatility in the transportation marketplace, transportation has been thrust into the spotlight and none of that news is good. Through NASSTRAC you can join a legion of professionals who seek to change that perception and elevate the status of transportation and the work that they do to become a fully engaged faction within the supply chain. We need your support. We need your engagement.
Our annual renewal has ended and there are still a number of you who have not renewed your NASSTRAC membership. I’d like to ask that you consider renewing not only your membership, but your commitment to NASSTRAC and the transportation industry. It is our continuing goal to connect with professionals who are already in transportation as well as those who may have recently taken a position within a company that has been involved with NASSTRAC. With the never ending movement within and between companies, we have to depend on our members to make their associates aware of who we are and what we stand for in the industry. Make sure you add all of your transportation colleagues to your NASSTRAC member profile so they receive our communications and notices of upcoming events. Take the time to share with your colleagues member benefits such as our View calls, Webinars, transportation contract templates, the discounted Penn State Executive Supply Chain Certification program, and new benefits that are forthcoming as a result of our partnership with CSCMP.
Won’t you join (or rejoin) today and meet some new friends?