Results of the NFPA Communications Survey – What You Want and What You Get

Thanks to everyone who participated in the NFPA Communications Survey, which was conducted back in November and December. The survey was sent to about 900 manufacturer, distributor and supplier members, and we received responses from 151.

The survey covered a lot of ground, including perceptions of the value and volume of communications you receive from NFPA, the effect of recent changes to our communications format, and the importance and effectiveness of social media tools within the industry.

Rather than assault your attention spans with the whole thing at once, we’ll start this post with a brief summary of the value and volume of information, and Katrina Schwarz will follow-up with posts on some of the other areas.

Value and Volume

We asked two questions about the same list of items to get a sense of the communications you value, and how that aligns with the communications your receive from us. In general, it looks like our communications deliver in the areas members value most, and in generally the right amounts.

But here’s what we come up with when we look in some more detail…see chart below.

NFPA Communications Survey Grid

Communications Survey Grid Legend

As you go up along the left hand scale, the value you place on the communication type increases. As you progress from left to right the percent indicating you receive about the right amount goes up.

In the green zone are items you value most highly, and you are also the most likely to say you receive the right amount of.

Members want industry statistics more than anything else (not a surprise), followed by conference information, news about member companies, strategic initiatives, and IFPE and other trade shows. Looks like we’re delivering well on this.

In the red zone are items you also value more highly, but are less likely to receive in the right amount.

You place a relatively high value on research updates, and it looks like we may be coming up a little short there…we need to look back at the past year’s updates, and find out whether we’re covering the ground we need to, or if we’re highlighting them enough. Foundation activities was one of the lowest scoring on the value scale, but some of these were research oriented, and may need re-labeling to make sure they don’t go unnoticed for their research content.

Likewise, updates on CCEFP activities fall lower on the value scale…but often serve as research updates, and may not be noticed as such.

Some of this tells us, again, that we should take a look at how we might make some items more visible as valued pieces of information.

Other Things Members Value

Not wanting to assume we deliver on everything we could or should, we also asked members to describe other types of information they would find valuable. And here’s what we heard, along with some pointers to resources or things we have in the works:

  • Fluid power industry statistics from South America, especially Brazil, as well as news articles on fluid power mfg. ups and downs in South America. (These countries generally don’t have programs for gathering fluid power-specific data, though Brazil is looking to start one. Our Global Forecast Service may provide some insights)
  • I would like NFPA to re-establish the ISO TC 131 database that was part of the server before the site was redone. (We’ve been working on this over the last couple months, with a goal to launch the new online standards tools this Spring.)
  • Fluid Power $ spend by state or region so that I can benchmark performance and hold my sales channels accountable for market share. (Years ago we produced a report of this…U.S. Fluid Power Potential. But we discontinued it when the underlying data source became highly questionable. We have a vendor currently looking at whether there might be a reliable way to produce something like this again.)
  • Governmental developments that impact our industry
  • A bit more info. on the current status of many long term members who worked on standards development.
  • Update on bio-degradable fluid use including high water content.
  • Information on specific topics in fluid power/mobile hydraulics, such as sensor technology.
  • Succession planning info.
  • More information about our global outreach.
  • More discussion about competitive technologies.
  • I would like to see more industry based data/indexes/trends on sectors such as Mining, Oil & Gas, Utilities, etc. in the mobile hydraulics market.
  • More Member highlights, were are people, movers and shakers?

For more information please contact Pete Alles, Director of Membership and Communications.

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