The September/October issue of the AGS Magazine had an interesting article from industry stalwart Len Threadgold who looked back at the vision and aims of the AGS at conception and in its early days. This has changed little over time and explains why the AGS is still such a vibrant and active association. However, the Executive team recognise that a lot of the good work, publications and guidance produced by AGS members often does not reach further than the committee members and Nominated Representatives.
In order to deliver the vision and aims, it was agreed by the Executive that a clear plan, set of objectives and mechanisms for delivery had to be developed. So, for the first time since inception the AGS has developed a Business Plan and Marketing Plan to assist the association to document for the members its strategic goals and supporting objectives to achieve its aims and this article provides a brief overview.
The AGS has been the UK’s only Trade Association for geotechnical and geoenvironmental businesses since 1988 and is represented by specialist consultants, contractors, suppliers and clients. It is a non-profit trade association which, through its working groups and activities, works to enhance this specialist sector by promoting good practice, standards and encouraging innovation. Its members are committed to safety and quality and it is important that members feel that they have a real benefit from being part of the Association and these benefits are highlighted within the Business Plan and on the AGS website.
The Business Plan sets out the already well-established aims of the Association which are:
(a) to promote and enhance quality and safe practice within the geotechnical and geoenvironmental industry;
(b) to provide opportunities for participation in its activities to all those in the wider geotechnical and geoenvironmental industry;
(c) to give benefit to all of its participants
In order for the AGS to maintain and improve the effectiveness to deliver its aims and objectives to the industry and benefits to its members, the Marketing Plan has been developed around five key areas:
- Maintain the effectiveness and focus of the advice and guidance from the Association through its Working Parties
- Organise and promote industry related conferences and events
- Sell and promote AGS publications
- Produce an industry focussed magazine
- Manage and promote the AGS Data Format
In endeavouring to achieve its aims the AGS Business Plan states that it is committed to the growth of its membership from companies who are recognised for the quality of practice they bring. It is recognised that a larger membership base provides a level of influence within the industry and revenues which will enable it to underpin the association aims and objectives as set out in the Business Plan and Marketing Plan.
The principle initiatives to grow the membership are to create value of membership and tangible benefits, build awareness of the AGS value of membership through improved marketing and presence and engage with students and graduates.
The AGS is already well supported by a wide variety of stakeholders from the industry but the aims and objectives within the Business and Marketing Plans can only be delivered with this continued support and through more individuals becoming involved. Through tangible benefits such as the FREE* AGS Annual Conference (Member’s Day), high quality seminars, AGS data format, guidance and publications, there is a real value to membership and the AGS is in a unique position to be able to lead and influence the industry.
During the production of the Business Plan an analysis of the current membership and market was carried out and it became clear that in order to meet the aims and adapt to the changing shape of the members such as those created by mergers and acquisitions a simplified fee structure was required. It was also clear that the viability of the Association heavily rests with recovering these fees in a timely manner and as benefits such as our free* Annual Conference had to be maintained a slight increase was proposed and the new structure is provided below.
The 2019 plans are already in place and so we can already look forward to the Annual Conference on 3rd April, the first Loss Prevention Seminar on 3rd July, a Health, Safety and Environmental Seminar in November and continual updates on Standards, guidance and legislation within the AGS Magazine. If you think you want to be part of the team to deliver the vision and support the growth of the industry then please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org .