At WSA Communication Keys Member Benefits

The one-year-old World Sweeping Association (WSA) will hold its first general meeting at the National Pavement Expo (NPE) on Thursday, Jan. 9, from 5:00-6:00 p.m., according to Ranger Kidwell-Ross, executive director.

Begun in January 2013, WSA currently has 108 contractor members and 11 Associate Members. Kidwell-Ross says that any company providing products or services to the sweeping industry can be an Associate Member – their only WSA “fee” is they must provide a discount to WSA contractor members (instead of paying dues).

Kidwell-Ross, who also owns and operates WorldSweeper.com, says WSA has spent much of this year keeping members apprised of what’s been happening to the industry regarding third party vendors. In its first year WSA has made it a point of sending out periodic “alerts” to members when news happens – such as an October decision by Dominick’s grocery stores to close all Chicago-area stores.

“The big key is having a constant line of communication, and that’s what WSA has been doing with our ‘alerts’ and our bi-monthly newsletters,” Kidwell-Ross says. “When a company has been bought, or when members start experiencing problems with a third-party vendor, that’s something the whole industry needs to be aware of.”

He says that third party vendors are the biggest problem facing the contractor side of the sweeping industry, which is why it’s gotten so much emphasis from WSA. “There’s so much trouble with third party vendors that we need to band together as a unified force to defend the industry,” Kidwell-Ross says.

Among WSA’s efforts for members, in addition to the “alerts,” is a “how-to” guide for working with third party vendors titled ‘Third Party Vendors: Cautions and Analysis.” This document is a clause-by-clause analysis of the contract of one third-party vendor, and a comprehensive list of all third party vendors, so members can contact them if they want to do work with them.

“But in addition to the list is a separate page for each third party vendor, so WSA members can comment on their experience with that vendor,” Kidwell-Ross says. “It’s just another effort to keep communication open and information flowing.”

Kidwell-Ross says that because WSA was begun with a relationship with WorldSweeper.com, WSA has a library of more than 250 industry-specific articles and more than 80 podcasts to make available to members.

Other member benefits include:

• 15 boilerplate business management forms available for download

• Bi-monthly e-mail newsletter updates

• Special “Industry Alerts” on an as-needed basis

• Contractor Locator participation, a $250 value included in the $375 annual membership fee

Kidwell-Ross says members are required to sign the industry’s first “Ethics Statement” before joining, and he says WSA has established a World Sweeping Foundation to provide scholarships.

The General WSA meeting at NPE is open to members and anyone interested in becoming a WSA member. For more information contact director@worldsweepingpros.org.

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