15 April 2008
As we enter 2007, SC&RA remains confident of the association's ability to anticipate developments in the industry it serves and to remain ready to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. Largely responsible for our success in staying ahead of the curve has been the Strategic Planning Committee.
This panel of industry leaders consists of the association's chair; president; vice president; treasurer; assistant treasurer; past chair; the chair and vice chair of the Crane & Rigging, Transportation, Allied Industries and Ladies Groups; and the SC&R Foundation president. Together, they are responsible for the association's multiyear plans.
In September 2005 this group met to review progress against the 2003-2005 Strategic Plan and to develop a new plan for 2006-2008. Th e process identified changes in the membership, environment, capabilities, exposures and opportunities, as well as regulations, cyclical forces and assumptions about the future world in which the Strategic Plan will be executed.
Among the five key performance areas covered by the strategic plan was Continuing Product and Service Improvement. One of the goals in that performance area was to enhance the existing property and casualty insurance program.
Since then, our insurance program has indeed improved. For example, we worked with NBIS, the exclusive administrator of SC&RA's insurance program, to introduce a captive program for workers' comp, auto liability and auto physical damage coverage. Th ese new lines of coverage for qualifying members will not adversely affect the collective loss experience and/or rates in the existing SC&RA member program.
SC&RA continued to enjoy success with its Crane-Rigging Specialized Insurance program, which included coverages for general liability, property/inland marine, commercial auto, contractors' pollution liability and umbrella liability. Th is year, we will collaborate with NBIS on other new programs that should appeal to many member companies.
Another key performance area in the strategic plan involved Establishing a More Effective International Network. SC&RA members increasingly need to move items across international borders, and many member firms are already headquartered outside the United States. “Th e strategic emphasis here is helping members both inside and outside the US to develop a more effective network of partner firms in other parts of the world,” according to the Strategic Plan.
As part of this effort, I traveled in November with SC&RA president Doug Williams and KHL publisher James King to Shanghai to participate in Bauma China, the leading exhibition for construction machinery in Asia. We shared booth space with KHL, which publishes this magazine and SC&RA's other official magazine, International Cranes and Specialized Transport. We believe our presence at this important event will help us expand our membership in Asia.
Immediately afterward, we traveled to meet representatives of the Crane Rental Association/Council of Australia in Sydney and the Heavy Haulage Association of New Zealand in Wellington. Both groups were extremely accommodating and arranged multiple meetings with prospective member companies, as well as with our existing members.
We plan to expand our international outreach by participating in Bauma Germany in Munich, April 23-28. We also will continue to explore mutually beneficial opportunities with the European Association of Heavy Haulage, Transport and Mobile Cranes.
Also under consideration is the reestablishment of our international forum in 2008. Th is would enable our American members to visit member companies overseas to expand our business network, exchange ideas and foster SC&RA international growth.
In addition, we are moving forward on other key performance areas in the 2006-2008 Strategic Plan: Building on the Financial Strengths of the Association, Recruiting People to the Industry, and Preparing for Recovery from Local or National Emergencies.
It's a strong plan, developed by our members for our members to keep the Association moving forward.