Why Belong to CISCA (Revisited)?
Over the past many months, while traveling and speaking with many Independent Manufacturer’s Representatives, the question often posed is; Why belong to CISCA? What does CISCA do for me?
I suppose, if your business is not important to you, if interaction with the players in your industry does not impact you, if working toward developing a more professional business environment is not important to you, belonging to CISCA probably has no benefit to you.
If on the other hand, you take your business seriously and want to endeavor to improve it, to increase the level of professionalism in our industry, belonging to CISCA probably has many short term and long term advantages.
For a moment reflect upon these facts;
- 90 per cent of thee manufacturers doing business in our industry use Independent Manufacturer’s Representatives to sell their products.
- 90 per cent of this manufacturer’s belong to CISCA.
- CISCA is the only professional industry association specializing in the Ceiling and Interior Products Industry.
- CISCA is the only national organization producing a national convention / trade show to gather together the various major players in our industry.
- Most major Independent Manufacturers Representatives have secured their major lines at CISCA Meetings & Conventions.
For those of us who have been in this industry for more than twenty years, we remember that CISCA was always a major influence in the industry. Every office had CICSA Certificates on the wall, CISCA Memorabilia on the desks, and the upcoming CISCA Convention was always an important event. Also, there was a sense of professionalism in the industry.
Over the past ten years, the importance of history and integrity has been slipping in our industry and many others. Belonging to your industry’s professional organization is an important step in rekindling the sense of purpose and pride in our industry.
Like voting in a national election, if you want to have an impact on your business and our industry you have to take part and contribute. Let your thoughts and ideas be shared with you colleagues, show the other sectors of the Ceiling and Interior Systems Industry that Independent Manufacturers Representatives are professionals, that we benefit all segments of our industry.
From a purely selfish point of view, doesn’t it make sense to attend meetings with a broad range of colleagues from other territories? To find out what lines are hot? What manufacturers are easy or difficult to do business with? Who pays their commissions on time, who doesn’t? Compare project notes?
CISCA has many new and exciting programs scheduled in the upcoming years: For example, the new convention format. Where else can you attend a Rep / Manufacturer Cocktail Party, and up to ten sales meetings in one location? Most Principal Companies do not have annual meetings; CISCA offers an opportunity to see your Principal’s at least once yearly! At Intercon 2001 we have made it easy to attend for members and non-members. We have made Inside Contracting available for members and non-members.
In the future, the benefits will be included for members only and available to non-members at a cost greater than simply belonging to CISCA.
In the past six months, the membership in CISCA has grown significantly The number of Independent Manufacturers Representatives HAS MORE THAN TRIPLED! Membership is payable by credit card monthly, includes many future convention benefits, and offers a national forum for your ideas. A place to see and be seen!
Many of us are often asked to refer manufacturers to Independent Manufacturers Representatives in other territories. If we have never met you, had no interaction with you at CISCA, you will not get the referral. Many of our most important contacts are made at CISCA Conventions. Individual sales meeting of individual manufacturers during the year help, but the only place to meet a broad spectrum of colleagues is at CISCA. The more members we have, the more manufacturers will have their annual meeting at CISCA. This saves time and money. If you save one trip to a manufacturer’s meeting during the year, you more than pay for your membership in CISCA.
CISCA has always made money for our members. Why belong to CISCA? Why not belong to CISCA is a better question? If you want to be involved with our industry, share ideas, create a professional identity for your firm, meet all of the players in one place yearly, receive a monthly publication regarding your business, and have an impact on the industry, you have to belong to CISCA!
William L. Shannon CSI, CISCA
President of Shannon Corporation
Recipient of the 2004 De Gelleke Award