The 2015 AFSA convention theme, “Rising to Excellence,” is an appropriate theme for the times we face. In these competitive times, growth and success for many companies will hinge on their ability to improve quality, expand training and provide better management.
Over the years a number of studies comparing quality of domestic and international products have concluded something that American workers can produce quality products and services equal to any in the world, provided that the workers are trained and the work process is designed to monitor quality and promote improvement. There is one common denominator in all quality programs that determines the success or failure of the program – training.
The importance of training is not recognized by everyone. When a company is busy it is easy to view training as something that can be delayed, but that is a short-sighted approach. Well-trained employees save their employer far more than the cost of their training. Well-trained employees are more efficient employees. With the right training, an employee can work faster and better with fewer mistakes.
It is not just installers and layout technicians that need continuing training. Management and administrative employees must also receive continued training. To remain successful, today’s manager must be adaptable and must be willing to undergo continuous education.
AFSA Convention – Education That Works At the 2015 AFSA convention and exhibition, AFSA offers a balance of business and technical seminars. We provide a wide selection of seminars designed to help contractors manage their businesses. These seminars provide a unique opportunity to advance your business and technical knowledge. During the convention, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) have the opportunity to attend important and relevant seminars that give guidance to business operations, offer exposure to new procedures, and offer insights into current trends and evolving technology.
While no one would deny the educational value of seminars, the educational value of other aspects of the convention may not be as readily apparent. While viewing the exhibits may be fun, there is a very real educational value in seeing the latest products and services on display. The exhibits offer contractors the opportunity to talk with manufacturers and suppliers and learn more about their products and services. For exhibitors, the exhibition provides an opportunity to get important customer ideas about how they can improve their products.
Of course, no convention is a success without social activities that provide opportunities for interaction between old and new friends. Beyond the formal seminars offered at convention, you will learn much outside the seminar room by sharing experiences, techniques and management practices with your peers. At the AFSA convention, you have the opportunity to learn from your peers while making new friends and developing new contacts. Many participants tell us that they learn a tremendous amount by talking to contractors in different parts of the country, comparing operations and procedures and business practices. Attending the AFSA convention and taking advantage of the many education and training opportunities offered will help your company “Rise to Excellence.”
Steve A. Muncy, CAE, is president of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) based in Dallas, Texas. He joined the AFSA staff in 1988 and served as Executive Vice President for three years before being named President in January 1992. As President, Muncy is the spokesperson for AFSA and, in turn, for the merit shop fire sprinkler industry. He is in charge of the administration and management of the national headquarters of AFSA as well as heading external relations with other industry associations and internal relations with chapters and state associations. Muncy serves on the Board of Directors of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the National Advisory Committee of the Congressional Fire Services Institute. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and is a member and Past President of the Dallas/Fort Worth Association Executives. He is a past board member of the Texas Society of Association Executives. In 1992, he earned a Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation and is one of only 2,500 worldwide to hold this certification. Muncy is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.