As it approached the challenge of developing a new strategic plan to guide the organization, NRCA wanted to ensure the plan was dynamic and adaptable. In many organizations, strategic plans rarely are referenced after they are written, and NRCA wanted to create one that inspires succeeding boards to continually develop and change work activities aimed toward its new vision.
The development of a vision, which is aspirational in nature, necessitates the development of a mission statement. A mission statement provides the parameters that begin to shape the activities needed to move the association strategically ahead.
However, even the best plan cannot move forward without measurable objectives. NRCA will set long- and short-term objectives that will be established by committees with the vision in mind. Committee deliberation leads to specific tactics that will be executed by association staff and committee members working together.
These five components (vision, mission, long- and short-term objectives, and tactics) support each other. Its adaptable design precludes this plan becoming a printed five-color, bound document; rather, it becomes one that can be continually updated.
Establishing a vision is challenging enough for an organization owned by one person yet ever so much more for an organization where there are thousands of member "owners" represented by any number of stakeholder groups.
The initial focus of the effort was to develop a vision statement with words that reflect members' feelings and stories about NRCA while answering three questions: Who is NRCA? What does it do? Who should it be?
The vision statement construction is important. In this case, it comprises two sentences: The first describing who the organization is (reflecting members' stories) and what it does. This provides context to the second sentence, which states the future aspirational and inspirational vision.
To gather the necessary information to develop the vision statement, hundreds of members participated via online surveys, group sessions and one-on-one interviews. Armed with a 34-page detailed summary, NRCA's Executive Committee deliberated the findings via multiple meetings, calls and email drafts to establish the association's new 10-year vision.
The National Roofing Contractors Association Vision Statement
Since 1886, the National Roofing Contractors Association has been the home for generations of entrepreneurial craftsmen and enterprises who shelter and protect America's families and businesses and each other. Our vision is the recognition of our members as professionals and to unite the industry to that purpose.
The vision statement includes NRCA's legacy (since 1886, the National Roofing Contractors Association), who NRCA represents (generations of entrepreneurial craftsman and enterprises), what those members do (shelter and protect America's families, businesses and each other), and finally NRCA's long-term vision (the recognition of our members as professionals and to unite the industry to that purpose). The 10-year time frame signals the commitment of the association to this vision.
Second, armed with the vision, NRCA went again to the membership for its input about the next phase: the development of the mission statement. NRCA received nearly 200 responses from five groups: NRCA's Executive Committee, board of directors, committee members, members at large and staff. From those responses, a mission statement emerged. If the vision sets the aspirational and inspirational goals, the mission answers how are we going to get there. To that end it, too, is broad in nature but sets the stage for tangible, actionable activities represented in the long- and short-term objectives and ultimate tactics.
The National Roofing Contractors Association Mission Statement
NRCA values its members and staff, safety, integrity, hard work and quality. It will advance toward its vision by ensuring consensus decisions are determined through active deliberation inside the committee process.
NRCA sets the following areas of focus (listed alphabetically):
NRCA is the roofing industry's premier advocate. NRCA provides active advocacy for its members with:
- The government—federal and state, where necessary
- Code bodies
- Regulatory agencies
- Others as needed
Through various communication vehicles, NRCA promotes its members':
Education and/or Certification
NRCA will train and/or certify all aspects of the roofing industry, including:
- Field workers
- Future leaders
- Others (architects, consultants, etc.)
- NRCA seeks to grow its membership in an inclusive manner that reflects the diverse nature of the entire industry.
- NRCA will examine its dues structure to best serve the industry.
NRCA regards worker safety as a primary goal. NRCA:
- Believes safety begins the moment an industry employee leaves his or her home for work until the time he or she returns home safely each day.
- Seeks to provide the most comprehensive safety training available in the roofing industry to provide the safest work environment possible.
- Believes safety includes property. The roofing industry by its nature is designed to protect buildings and their contents. Water damage during or after construction, fires and/or other physical damage are mitigated by our efforts.
To promote high-quality roof system designs and installations, NRCA provides technical support to the entire roofing industry. Technical support is provided through:
The mission statement and areas of focus will change, either together or independently, over time, reflecting the adaptable nature of this plan. The areas of focus do not supplant the importance of the many other ongoing association activities not listed here that are vital for vision attainment, such as Professional Roofing magazine. The staff support section, which follows, provides those details.
NRCA Staff Support
NRCA has the tools to deliver on the idea of unifying the industry to improve its members' recognition as professionals. In fact, NRCA is uniquely qualified to take on this challenge because it already has in place the human capital and structure to move the industry forward.
NRCA has professionals on staff in the following disciplines:
- Education and Certification
- Enterprise Risk Management
In addition to staff, NRCA members represent the finest the industry offers. From raw material suppliers all the way to delivery of complete roof systems, NRCA members provide contributions to the association in many disciplines via the committee process.
One of the most significant ways to have a positive effect on the industry image is to tell the roofing industry's story to policymakers in Washington, D.C., and state capitals. NRCA is uniquely positioned to assist in uniting the industry to speak with one voice. With a team of highly skilled professionals working in the NRCA Washington, D.C., office, NRCA already is effective. But more can be done.
NRCA will expand the reach of its grassroots activities, facilitate national fly-in advocacy days, strengthen ROOFPAC, provide best practices for our affiliates to deploy in state governments and continue its engagement with members of Congress from both political parties.
The roofing industry is replete with good stories. NRCA members provide the highest-quality installations in the world and do so on many of the nation's most prominent buildings. NRCA members also are extraordinarily charitable. In hundreds of communities throughout the U.S., NRCA members contribute scholarships, new roofs and financial support that make the communities they live in better.
NRCA will unite the industry in an effort to engage the media with press releases about our members projects and charitable work focusing on making our members good work noticeable in their hometowns. When NRCA members do something of national note, the association will communicate those with national media. NRCA will expand its footprint in social media and maximize the use of Professional Roofing as well as other communication pieces NRCA routinely distributes.
Education and Certification
NRCA seeks to unite the industry around the cause of uniform, nationally recognized worker training in all roofing disciplines. This long-term project includes the development and delivery of training for roofing workers and the employees who supervise them. The training system is being developed using strict adherence to ANSI standards governing the policies of certifications with the goal of certifying the U.S. roofing workforce.
A fully trained and certified workforce offers an additional layer of consumer protection that simply does not currently exist in the roofing industry. Most but not all training is provided by a varied, ad hoc system of manufacturer and/or distributor training as well as on-the-job training for roofing workers provided by roofing companies. A uniform system of training and certifying workers can be transformational for roofing companies as it can provide immediate and tangible results that could include:
- A clearly defined career path for new workers interested in learning a trade and the recruitment of these individuals into a roofing career
- Mobility for roofing crews working for companies that work in multiple states/jurisdictions
- An improvement in installed roof system quality and a higher level of quality for building owners
- A recognition of the professional services roofing workers provide
- An improvement of worker performance that manifests itself in higher productivity
Enterprise Risk Management
The roofing industry has no shortage of risk whether it is to workers or the companies that employ them. Reducing risk for members includes creating programs to reduce employee injuries, reduce the likelihood of building fires and water damage, reduce driving-related accidents and reduce theft. Any one of these items (and others) can damage a company's reputation.
In addition, risk to members' businesses is significant whether its contractually, regulatory- or employment-related. Each requires supporting members' professional standing through the availability of insurance program offerings, reaching out to government agencies and offering legal support.
NRCA seeks to unify the industry to mitigate risks at all levels by working with external partners, developing educational program and products, and providing specific risk management training for roofing companies. As catastrophic losses are reduced so are the negative images and press coverage that naturally come as a result.
Any discussion about NRCA's mission must include the area of finance. NRCA seeks to manage the financial resources provided by its members, products, programs and services in the most cost-efficient manner possible. NRCA will deploy the financial resources it has in a manner that unites and improves the industry for all stakeholders.
NRCA believes all contractor members should take advantage of the resources and legal assistance available through NRCA’s Legal Resource Center, whose legal experts will help address some of the toughest legal, business and employment issues, including:
- Contract language
- Employee relations
- Regulatory compliance
- Payment provisions
Using NRCA's team of marketing professionals, NRCA will develop marketing programs its members can deploy in their companies. By unifying the industry around specific messaging, NRCA members can begin to drive a unified message nationally. Because NRCA has members in every state and major metropolitan area, it can facilitate communication around key concepts that can nationalize what its members do. NRCA has experience with this in the past with its "Insist on a Roofing Professional" initiative as well as other marketing programs.
For NRCA to truly be effective, it has been determined membership growth is critical. NRCA will seek to unify the entire roofing industry by using growth models that are inclusive and allow all roofing stakeholders to join its efforts to improve the professional reputation of the entire roofing industry. NRCA's ability to drive any message will be directly related to its membership footprint. Growth is critical for driving a message that penetrates.
Professional Roofing in its print, digital and online editions is the most widely read and respected magazine in the roofing industry. As such, its influence can be an effective vehicle for driving a consistent, unified message.
Yet NRCA produces many other communication vehicles. Technical documents, For Members Only newsletter, Industry Issue Updates, electronic communications along with many others can all be used in this effort.
NRCA's technical department exists to support NRCA members by thoroughly understanding the technical issues they face and, along with committed volunteers serving on various technical committees, continually update an array of technical manuals and reports.
Minimizing risk and improving the quality experience for customers requires engagement with virtually every stakeholder involved in a roofing project. NRCA regularly works with designers, consultants, manufacturers, government and independent agencies such as ASTM International, building code bodies, FM Global, etc., to ensure its members are equipped with the most current information available.
Risks such as roof system failures, roof leaks, poor workmanship, manufacturing and/or design errors can sully a reputation faster than anything. NRCA's technical department exists to support NRCA members by thoroughly understanding the technical issues they face and along with committed volunteers serving on various technical committees, continually update an array of technical manuals and reports.
Keeping lines of communication open and transparent with industry partners improves quality and reduces job-site mistakes. For example, translating technical documents into more languages can serve to improve on-site quality. Working together brings excellent results.