Time to look inside the box – by Larry Convoy

At CMA, success of our groups can be directly tied to the amount of information exchanged.

Traditionally, membership in CMA’s industry groups was restricted to companies selling the same product. For example, the Electric group had only electrical distributors, and the Roofing group had only shingle suppliers. This system worked out very well before mergers and consolidations reduced the number of companies in each industry, which significantly reduced the amount of information exchanged.

Seeing this trend, several groups took a different approach to recruiting new members. They looked at which other products their customers stocked, trying to find other commonalities. For example, the Door and Window group wished to expand. They already had the major players in their industry, but most of their customers also bought hardware. This opened up an entirely new list of group prospects. Similarly, roofers have to buy glue to secure the shingles; while restaurants need paper products and linens besides food.

Each of these groups increased membership count and information exchanged by looking INSIDE the customer’s business.

Don’t let the name of your group or its historical policies prevent expansion. By-Laws can be amended to include, rather than exclude, new members.

We would be happy to work with you on this new member drive.

We encourage you to hold elections in March and plan on joining your fellow Credit Managers at CMA’s Annual Meeting on April 10th in Anaheim, CA for a great educational program. I hope to see you there.

Let’s look inside the box and expand the amount of information that we share.

Larry Convoy
Supervisor, Industry Credit Groups

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