As I was saying …

New strategic plan taking shape

"The plan," said Dwight D. Eisenhower, "is nothing. Planning is everything." He said that in the context of war where chaos rules, but the message applies to the business world, too, which, come to think of it, feels almost as chaotic as war these days.

NRCA's current strategic plan was adopted in 2007, a year before the great financial collapse. That plan spoke to such issues as labor shortages, membership growth and NRCA's role as an industry ombudsman. What a difference a few years—and a few national calamities—can make.

NRCA's board of directors spent a half day in July working on what will become NRCA's next strategic plan. Although many topics remain unchanged from four years ago, there are some clear differences.

The new plan, for example, will call for NRCA to become the clearinghouse for all building codes and standards that affect roofs. In that role, NRCA will be seen as the primary source of information about the development of roof-related standards. This is in direct response to

the new surge of codes and standards activities—notably the development of the International Green Construction Code—that will affect roofing contractors every day.

The new plan also will ask NRCA to work with regulatory agencies to arrive at reasonable rules that will allow NRCA members to grow and be successful. That provision is a result of the new regulatory reality: Government rules affect just about every aspect of every contractor's operation. "Reasonable rules" sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but the clear sense is the government simply can't continue to pile on regulations.

The new plan, in addition, will call on NRCA to promote the value of professionalism in the roofing industry and, in particular, professional roofing contractors. There was a lot of discussion about developing more accessible and structured training; developing certification programs for different classes of industry employees; and embarking on programs to make sure consumers identify NRCA and its members with quality and reliability.

The notion of promoting professionalism isn't new. But given all the consequences of more rules for professional contractors to abide by and the certainty that unprofessional contractors will ignore them, its time certainly has come.

Bill Good is NRCA's executive vice president.


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