Although we’ve sent numerous announcements with details of the program, I am still getting a lot of questions from members. I want to reiterate several points and to share a couple of new ones with you today.
First, the program will end August 13th. It will not be extended. After the deadline, you will still be able to become a NFA CO-OP member, if you meet the required criteria. However, it will be for the full amount, which is currently $5,000.
Second, under the current plan if you have invested any amount of money into the ARMS program, this amount will be deducted from the $2,500 you must pay to join the new NFA. ARA will match the $2,500 amount, giving you a net investment amount of $5,000. This will enable all owners, both new and old, to be in the CO-OP for the same $5,000 figure. Every CO-OP member has an equal say in how the CO-OP is managed, which includes the election of officers, as well as having input about what the bylaws say that the CO-OP operates under.
Third, I have been asked about clients and potential clients. NFA is handling accounts for several clients, including Wells Fargo Dealer Services. NFA is currently completing an RFP for a major client. Obviously, if NFA had every ARA member on board today the chances would be even better to win the business. I have had conversations with several clients that like what ARA is doing with our compliance education and training program, as well as the monitoring program we are working on. This will help our members gain direct business and it will really strengthen the opportunity for the new NFA and our members to receive quality work from clients that will not abandon the forwarding model.
Starting this week, NFA will offer its Co-Op members a full refund to those who request it, should the viability of NFA fall into question before or at the inaugural meeting of all NFA members to be held Saturday September 21st in Phoenix at the Embassy Suites following ARA’s 49th Annual Convention. The meeting will be held right after the annual ARA awards breakfast, in the same room. In the meeting, a decision will be made as to how NFA moves forward. It will be the first time for everyone to come together and make a commitment to each other that we have chosen a strategy of co-petition to begin the process of healing and of reviving our industry.
The latest discussion has been about the long-term viability of the facilitation model. I think it is excellent, but only if we, as an industry, get behind it and begin to pull together in one direction. One of the words Paul Kulas used at NARS and again recently on a LinkedIn blog is “co-petition.” I think of it in the NASCAR vernacular. As a team owner, I want my driver/car to win. But as a Ford, Chevrolet or Toyota partner, my second choice is for my brand to win should I not. Teams that compete every day share information amongst each other because they all get better. As an industry, all brands cooperate on many aspects of the sport because it makes the sport better. As the sport improves so does fan loyalty and money, which in the end benefits all of the teams.
I know this model works in our industry. Russ Dewitt and I did it for many years as fellow ARA members in the same city. When a client would comparison shop price, if I could not land them on the spot then I gave the client Russ’ phone number with the idea that I would rather him get the business and keep it in the ARA family than have it go to a non-association member. Also, I was positive Russ wasn’t going to cut his price just to take business from me because he knew I wasn’t cutting mine to take his.
Please take time to call and ask about what it takes to be involved. You can call me at 972-755-4755 (office) or 512-826-8525 (cell), or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Darren Frame at 623-516-1018 or Darren@NFACoop.com.