The Value of Joining a National Trade Association?

Jan. 1, 2013

What is the value of joining a national trade association?

Judell Anderson, administrator of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP)

The collision repair business grows more challenging every year. For repairers to thrive and succeed, their support and active involvement with trade associations is more critical than ever before. Owners of all sizes of shops should seek out participation with organizations that work proactively for the betterment of the industry.

From a training perspective, shops have access to educational programs and networking opportunities. That allows owners to exchange best practices and growth strategies, and learn from the experience of their peers. That information can be applied back in the shop for operational improvement.

Shops also benefit from legislative initiatives and representation. Single shop operators typically don’t have the time or expertise to monitor or initiate legislative solutions to head off threats to their business on their own. That’s where the power of numbers and a united voice comes into play. National associations can effect change on behalf of their members, which isn’t possible if you go it alone.

From a business perspective, national associations provide shops with access to group buying programs and business services. For example, association members can save money on things such as insurance, credit card processing, uniforms and management systems. Participation with those types of programs results in monetary savings and a larger bottom line.

There are multiple national industry associations. While similar in scope, they each differ slightly in membership offerings. When choosing an association to join, consider each organization’s structure of operations, benefit programs, approach to addressing issues and cost of membership. Each of the major associations brings something unique to the table; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for you.