Vision from Vegas

Rick Carlsen
Rick Carlsen

When I left Las Vegas yesterday, the banner hanging over my concourse carried the familiar slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.  Well, I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you what happened in Vegas.  The Board adopted a three-year Vision, and I want to share it with you today.

Since the 2013 Annual Meeting in Cleveland, the ARM Board has been working on a 3-year strategic plan that will guide our actions, thoughts and plans.  Our approach to this task was to interview as many active molder members as possible to find out why they value their ARM membership and to determine how we can bring more value in the future.  It will come as no surprise when I tell you that members value the networking opportunities available to them.

Based on this, the Board developed a vision that will focus on four key areas which directly impact “networking”.

1.  Increasing Active Participants in ARM.  Since networking in clearly the most appreciated ARM benefit, the Board and the Committees will work to grow the network.  We are committed to increasing the number of active molder companies that attend meetings, increasing the number of people that attend from each active molder company, and increasing the number of events each active person attends.  The first two measures are volume measures, simply the number of companies and people that attend.  The last measure is a measure of quality.  I believe the quality of networking will be better if the people attending know each other.  Also, people will only attend multiple events if they feel that the events are worthwhile, which is why we will…

2.  Improve Meetings.  ARM meetings will continue to offer a multitude of educational and networking experiences in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  Every member who attends a meeting needs to walk away feeling certain that they’ve derived enough value to pay back the cost of the trip many times over.  To improve the meetings, we are planning to …..

3.  Leverage ARM’s Technical and Practical Resources.  ARM will continue build and leverage relationships to provide its members new and innovative ideas that members may be able to apply to their businesses.  Examples of this include continuing and expanding the tours that we started on a limited scale in Minneapolis 2012 and continued in Cleveland 2013 and Las Vegas in 2014.  The purpose of these tours is to expose members to market-leading companies both inside and outside of our industry.  We visited such great companies as VitaMix, a lean practitioner, and Zappos, the definition of a customer-centric company that is driven by their culture and brand.  Continuing these great tours will be helpful in allowing ARM to…

4.  Maintain Financial Stability.  This is pretty self explanatory; ARM can’t deliver value if it doesn’t exist. ARM has been in the black every year for the last six years but we won’t take our eyes off the ball.

The Board recognizes that we need to track our progress in achieving the above mentioned goals.  To accomplish this, we are working on identifying and defining our key metrics.  We haven’t finalized the metrics, but we are close.  Stay tuned for an update.

Before I sign off, I need to remind you that Rotoplas is October 7-9 in Chicago, IL.  The planning has been underway for several months, and we have lined up some fantastic content in both the general sessions and breakout sessions.  We are planning the meeting with the 4 keys areas listed above on the top of mind.  There will be more to come on Rotoplas as we approach October, but be sure to block the dates off in your calendar.  This is an event you won’t want to miss.

Rick Carlsen is an owner and the VP of Sales and Marketing at Solar Plastics, Inc. He is the 2013-2014 President of ARM.

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