BCSA members came together in June for the Association’s Annual General Meeting, National Meeting, and its National Dinner. My President’s address at the dinner focused on commercial and contractual matters, just as readers of this column might expect.
But as well as the opportunity to hear about the work of our Association, discuss current issues, and get together to celebrate our industry, these events gave me the opportunity to reflect on the advantages of being a BCSA member and the myriad of benefits that using a BCSA member provides to clients and main contractors.
Of course, BCSA members are well aware of the benefits of membership, including exclusive access to expert advice, knowledge and programmes that improve our services to clients, reduce commercial risk, and make the workplace safer for everyone. Members can also raise and address issues and problems of mutual interest that can only be solved by working together. The point is, are our customers? It’s also important for them to value BCSA membership and what it brings to the sector, both in terms of technical expertise but also as a benchmark for professionalism and the can-do attitude BCSA members have.
Since taking on the Presidency, I have been in awe of the work of the BCSA and the contribution that member companies make, all of which provide advantages for all those companies working in the steelwork supply chain. For example, without the BCSA we wouldn’t have the NSSS; the sector wouldn’t have any lobbying clout, and without the establishment of Steel for Life, we would be without our steel market development activities. Over time, BCSA has pushed faster compliance with new regulation, helped improve quality and health and safety in the sector and driven best practice among members. In turn, a better performing structural steelwork sector benefits clients and main contractors.
There are also the individual project-by-project benefits that using a BCSA steelwork contractor brings to clients and main contractors. BCSA members are pre-assessed across many different aspects. This means that clients and contractors can be assured they have the specialist experience and qualifications for the job. More and more I’m seeing BCSA membership as a preferred or required qualification for projects, and I’m sure that this is due to the better outcomes that are consistently being delivered.
From time to time, a main contractor might say to me that they don’t want to restrict their choice of steelwork contractor by using a BCSA member. This is a weak argument because with around 100 steelwork contractor members, there’s more than enough choice to ensure a properly qualified and competitive tender list.
The BCSA member directories can be viewed at http://www.steelconstruction.org/directories. If you haven’t done so before, I suggest you try making BCSA membership a requirement for your next project – that’s a win-win scenario and no-one will regret it.