It’s been an interesting, challenging, rewarding and fun year serving as your President of this great organization.
SMACNA has been working throughout these difficult years trying to position the organization and its members to be best equipped to take advantage of the market’s coming prosperity.
First, we asked the general contractors and owners what was important in their decision to purchase construction products. In focus groups and follow up surveys it was clear that “HVAC Expertise” and “Architectural Expertise” were of primary importance and the professionals in these areas were needed at the “table” during the design and budgeting stage of the construction project.
With that knowledge we created a user friendly Web site that focused on commercial and residential HVAC and linked that site to our SMACNA membership listing so that customers and GCs could find the real experts in this field. With our HVAC Web site completed, we immediately began work on an architectural site to showcase and link our architectural contractors to potential buyers. Check this Web site to see some amazing works of art built by SMACNA contractors.
The second area of concentration, to reposition the SMACNA contractor, was to meet with and educate members of the specifying community. Through our efforts with CSI – that’s the Construction Specifications Institute – a revised MasterFormat has been published this year that separates HVAC and plumbing. By adopting this new MasterFormat the construction industry recognizes that owners consider HVAC systems to be one of the most important components of the building.
To capitalize on this important change, SMACNA is in the process of developing products and services to help contractors move from being a subcontractor to a prime HVAC contractor. Look for these in early 2005.
The third and last area, was a need to be involved with the large construction users and be part of the discussion and debate on the future of the industry. After inviting a leader of CURT – the Construction Users Roundtable – to a joint meeting with our labor partners to discuss our mutual concerns, we received a rare invitation to join their group as an associate member.
This membership gives SMACNA a place at the “table” with such prestigious owners as Intel, Johnson and Johnson, Ford Motor Company, Procter and Gamble as well as the Corp of Engineers and GSA. This Association of nearly fifty major owners collectively spends more than $95 billion annually on construction and maintenance projects.
As my year as SMACNA President ends, I would like to leave you with a thought.
I think the key to survival and success in business is your ability to adapt and change. Continually challenge your organization to become better. And remember, SMACNA has been and will continue to be your partner in this ongoing process. Thank you and have a prosperous year.
An excerpt of the annual business meeting report by President Mark Watson on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2004.