by Patricia Ames
In Part 3 of our interview series, we explore the effort the MPSA is putting into ensuring “membership value” with President Kevin DeYoung and Vice President Doug Bies.
What are some of the biggest challenges for the leadership of the MPSA?
Doug Bies: We’re trying to get the members more involved. It’s not just about giving the association money and saying, “Look I’m involved in this organization, buy from me now because I’m part of the MPSA.” It’s more about starting with an individual membership and getting involved in a committee. You have the opportunity to learn; you can collaborate with other bright minds in the industry and that delivers value back to you.
Kevin DeYoung: There’s an incredible wealth of information available to members. Some of the white papers from the Standards Committee are great. I remember one white paper looked at the different MPS variants and business models that exist in the industry. When I looked at the final white paper, I remember thinking I wished I would have had this when I first started to do MPS because I had to learn all this the hard way.
There are many different variants of MPS with pros and the cons to each model and each needs to be evaluated in terms of execution, customer retention, customer value. The Standards Committee has done these evaluations and it made me realize that when MPSA members have access to this information it is really going to enhance the learning curve for so many different organizations.
There are challenges, though. What we always need to keep in mind within an association is that you have varying levels of expertise within the membership.
Some members are very advanced and will think most initiatives are already outdated, while others are just starting to learn and it’s over their head and you’ve got to slow down to allow them to catch up. That’s always the challenge in this association — the varying levels of expertise that everybody has and trying to fit that.
Doug: It’s also the value as well. You have some members that don’t understand something as simple as conducting an assessment and a white paper or webinar on that topic appeals to them. Then you have other deliverables that are at a higher level that may appeal to a more advanced organization that’s involved in MPSA. Whether you’re new to the industry and just learning how to sell devices, or you’re at a much higher level and offer managed services or more complex products and services related to workflow, there are different areas of the MPSA that appeal to you.
Leadership within the actual committees has evolved over the past year. We have good leadership driving new initiatives forward so MPS-focused deliverables are accomplished
Kevin: Another challenge is depth. We’re building depth because ultimately we have to build depth to ensure solid leadership going forward. We have new chairs and co-chairs.
We could have a little bit more bandwidth. It is good now, I think it is set up and I feel better about it currently because there are more people that are taking leadership roles as opposed to in the past. Previously there were only a few people taking leadership roles, now you have a very involved board. Each of the board members are leaders in whatever they’re driving and sits very prominently at the table in our meetings.
The board members really own what they’re doing and that’s exciting from my standpoint because I feel like it is really one of the things that has improved. I know that in my role as president, I need a lot of help and I think that it’s silly not to take advantage of all of the talented people on the board. They want to help, they want to be involved, they want to drive the organization. We are now taking advantage of that, getting that kind of involvement, and it makes the association better, it broadens the span. I think it’s been good that way.
Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4 of the series.