Growing Union Electrical Market Share
The progress continues!
On May 24–25, 2005, the planning team met to continue working on the
plan to grow union electric market share.
This meeting focused on crafting the mission, goals, strategies, and
measurements for the plan. Each of
those is noted below for your review. But before we talk about that, let’s
spend a little bit of time talking about definitions.
Planning definitions differ from one individual to
another. The definitions that the
planning team used are as follows:
Mission: Statement of business
purpose. It is what the group is
trying to accomplish together.
Goals: Fuzzy destinations, which are areas of focus
for the next several years. It is what
the plan is designed to achieve.
“How” the goals will be
Measurements: Metrics to track the progress being made on
the plan in the short- and long-term.
Together these elements build a blue print for the future.
The greatest challenge that planning teams have is
focus. Picking nine goals would be
easy. Selecting the right two goals is
challenging. But it is through focusing
on one or two key goals that great progress is made. Otherwise, the efforts get too diluted, across too many
individual initiatives, and little gets accomplished.
The planning team has selected two key goals to focus on:
- Provide the best value for our customers.
trust and unity.
Today, customers have choices of who and how they build
construction projects. The decreasing
union market share shows that customers have turned to non-union companies and
craftspeople to build projects. The key
is to stop the erosion of market share and begin to win it back.
Providing the best
value for our customers is the first step in winning back market
share. Giving customers a solid reason
to pick union electrical craftspeople and companies is the key. Giving them the “best value” makes that
choice not only the right moral choice, but also the right economic one.
Building trust and
unity is as much internally-focused on NECA-SWW and IBEW 76 as it is on the
marketplace. Customers want labor and
management to get along, build the job with quality, and do so with as few
hassles as possible. The stronger the
working relationship between NECA and IBEW, the better it is for
customers. Trust and unity means all of
us working together for the common good (i.e., growing market share). Together, both sides are stronger than
either one is alone.
Strategies and Key Actions
Strategies reflect how the goals will be accomplished. Goals typically have one to three
strategies. Each strategy will have
several key actions. Key actions are
small groupings of individual tasks needed to reach the goal.
In the planning session, the strategies for both goals were
identified. Key actions will be defined
during the next planning session in July.
Strategies for each goal include:
One: Provide the best value for
- Improve cost competitiveness.
attitude and work ethic.
- Goal Two:
Build trust and unity.
- Create a culture of positive communication.
a united front.
The three strategies of Goal One (Provide the best value for
our customers) reflect the value-added approach for this goal. The intent is to look for ways to increase
the cost competitiveness of work, productivity, attitude, and work ethic. The good news is that working hard this
issue will generate results for other strategies.
For example, elevating the effectiveness of project management
in the field will help all of us be more cost competitive and productive. When the project works more smoothly, we all
have better attitudes. Each of the
three strategies are interrelated. The
next planning session will focus on sifting through all the strategy options
and selecting those that have the best long- and short-term return on the
effort to be invested.
The two strategies for building trust and unity focus on
positive communications and having a united front. Growing the participation at IBEW and NECA functions, sharing our
collective successes, and supporting each other on site will help all of us
grow the level of trust and unity. Key
actions for these strategies are a focus for the next planning session.
Measurements are the metrics by which we can measure
progress being made. The key is to have
measurements that reflect the short-term gains as well as long term. The best long-term measure of success may
well be market share. But to see
progress on that measurement, projects need to be released to the market, a
union electrical contractor wins them, and union labor builds them. That takes time! So as you look over the list of measurements below, notice some
are focused on the long-term goal of growing market share, while others are
focused on more immediate measures that will reflect our early efforts to win
back the market.
Repeat the customer survey periodically (owners and GCs). Use the baseline measurements gained from
the research done earlier this year.
Track the trends in the market share report on market share
and labor hours.
Conduct an internal survey to check progress being
Repeat the internal IBEW and NECA surveys to see where we are
gaining and where additional effort is needed.
Survey the planning leadership team to evaluate progress being
Track participation at functions (e.g., union meetings,
special projects, continuing education classes, NECA training, etc.).
Record the number of actions completed in the plan to show progress
Winning back market share means IBEW 76 and NECA-SWW working
together for the common good. The plan
to achieve that is coming together nicely.
The goals, strategies, and measurements above reflect hours of dialog
and discussion needed to focus down to the critical areas that will generate
the greatest return for the time and effort invested. All of us pulling together to implement the plan will create the
momentum we need to win back our fair share of the market!