Our Membership is our Workforce AFE is a nonprofit organization—not a for-profit business. We can’t use the same ways of generating revenue as for-profit companies do. For instance, when for-profit businesses create a cost-effective product for their customers, their customers pay for it. Corporate America generates its revenue from the consumption of value-added products and services by its customers. Yet, when we, as a nonprofit, create Internet tools for our members or training programs for our veterans, there is no profit engine driving our plan or our curriculum because our path is driven by our members—and our members are driven by the facilities trade. We’re in the business to serve and our members are our customers. If we can’t deliver more than just a certificate on a wall, we lose our membership and our workforce. Our engine, so to speak, slows down or speeds up depending on the size of our organization. Any member within any organization likes to know they have received something in return for their membership and loyalty. Our AFE model is highly dependent upon our members and our workforce to accomplish our mission. Our mission is driven by membership—we fail as a collective body if our ability to serve our members breaks down. In September 2012, aft er a careful assessment of our organization, AFE’s board of directors decided it was time to change our way of doing business—without changing our business model. Our volunteer members are busier than ever in their careers, so they cannot provide the hours we used to get from them 20 years ago. Our industry has rapidly changed and the evolution of electronic communication has changed the speed of how (and when) business gets done. Because of these changes in communication— we’ve had to change too. In turn—and in keeping with our AFE model—our chapters and regional boards needed a virtual office—an office they could access with their fingers that didn’t require time-consuming travel destinations. The AFE website is now a powerful virtual office for our dynamic chapter and regional volunteers. We can now accomplish on our laptops in minutes what had previously required coordinated telephone efforts and (when possible) weekend meetings. Thirty years ago, AFE was the most powerful facilities maintenance and engineering organization in the world— and when you go to www.afe.org you will find nothing has changed. Wayne P. Saya, CPE, CPMM AFE Executive Director
Published by Facilities Engineering Journal. View All Articles.
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