New times for IACDS


Another month goes by and another strange election result has left the UK with a great deal of uncertainty.

I don’t like to burden you with issues that are solely UK based but there is no doubt that the political uncertainty that has been thrown up in the past year or so do have an impact on confidence among business.

As such, I was asked to give my view by the BBC nationally and also by overseas TV stations and once again I was delighted to be able to give the perspective of specialist construction contractors. I believe the media has really woken up to the importance of our sector.

All of this came just a couple of weeks after the very successful IACDS meeting in Vienna, which gave us a great opportunity to reflect on some of our achievements as an association but also to look forward and see where we can continue to improve.

Ultimately, the role of any association is to be relevant to its members and to provide added value to them and when we looked back on what we’ve managed to get done in the past couple of years, that certainly shone through.

We have finally released the anchoring and tolerances documents. It has been a bumpy ride at times because we were drawing together information and evidence from countries right across the world, all of which have different perspectives.

The tolerances document is an update but the piece of work on anchoring is a completely new standard and will become a worldwide reference. The only reason this was possible is down to the fact that it has had worldwide backing.

In terms of communications, we have made a very strong breakthrough on the web. We have gone from having quite a passive presence to being extremely active, regularly publishing articles and contents on our website and social networks.

Again, we have learned valuable lessons. Our LinkedIn Group hasn’t taken off in the way we might have hoped but our Facebook Group has gone from strength to strength and is growing extremely rapidly.

Our database of contacts has grown significantly and are now much more detailed than ever before with contractors, suppliers and potential associations all listed.

Our newsletter now gets distributed to more than 2,000 individuals, including many members of concrete cutting associations around the world, which is again, very positive.

We are striving to attract new members all around the world and have been speaking to businesses and individuals in Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and India where there are no national associations but where they may wish to become part of IACDS.

A new membership brochure has also been created to underline the many benefits of being members.

So, I guess the question we must continue to pose to ourselves is why we are relevant to our membership and how we must always be striving to offer more and, as ever, I would always welcome your feedback on that.

What do you get from IACDS that’s important and what more could we deliver to make the association even more integral to your business.

In my view, it all comes down to the expertise that we can bring together – both on contractor and supplier sides – and how we make the most of that. How do we continue to bring together the global community to get full use out of that expertise through social media and beyond?

We want our members to feel visible too and we want them to know that there is a place to tell their story and to show off some of the amazing things they do on a daily basis – so let’s find a way to get those photos and videos off your smartphones (work-related, only, obviously!) and showcase the brilliant things you are doing.

I am proud of our industry and what makes us different and unique to any other. That’s why I am always happy to jump out of my comfort zone and talk to the BBC about General Elections – not because I am a politician but because I want the world to know that concrete cutting is sexy!

I have no doubt that there are challenges ahead and providing we continue to highlight what makes us different and stand out from other industries we will be in good stead.