FIA has conducted both a Compensation and Benefits Study and an Injury and Illness Study for many years. Both studies were administered via mailed or emailed forms that members would complete and return. Data would then be compiled into static reports over the next 4-8 weeks by an outside consulting firm. The process was time consuming for the association’s staff of ten, but there was some hesitation on making an investment in a more automated, streamlined solution, especially when so many of their members were not particularly tech savvy.
Still, FIA wanted to take its surveys and reports to the next level for members, and when the FIA staff came across Dynamic Benchmarking’s online solution at an ASAE meeting, they were intrigued by its immediacy and customization. Benchmarking studies were highly valued by their members and they wanted to increase both the quality and quantity of the information they were delivering. Dynamic Benchmarking appeared to be the solution that could deliver a better experience and better data to their members without further burdening FIA’s staff of ten.
Dynamic Benchmarking started work in May 2014 on the first of what would eventually be three separate studies all residing on one, interactive platform. The Compensation and Benefits Study is the only source of forging industry specific wage and benefit information for hourly, supervisory and management positions and is a highly valued FIA member benefit.
Understanding FIA’s concern that it’s members might resist the change from the existing paper-based survey to an online format, Dynamic Benchmarking Project Manager, Holly Maki, and Chief Operations Officer, Betsy Delfosse, immediately went to work developing a plan to promote the positive aspects of the new platform and educate FIA members on its benefits while, simultaneously, the new survey and platform were being constructed.
The new Compensation and Benefits Study was launched in September 2014 and included single sign-on access for simplified, secure user access as well as extensive online guidance and instructions for entering data and creating customized reports using numerous industry specific data filters. Holly and Betsy continued to support FIA’s promotional and educational efforts with a presentation at FIA’s annual meeting to showcase the functionality and benefits of the new format. The feedback from attendees was extremely positive.
“Giving members what they need, when they need it, is the goal of this major enhancement,” summarizes Roy Hardy, FIA President. “FIA is very excited to offer these improved services and is pleased with the response from our members.”
FIA’s second study, the Occupational Injury and Illness Survey, launched soon after in December 2014. One of the association’s most popular, the Occupational Injury and Illness Survey measures and compares workplace safety data as reported using information taken directly from each plant’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 200 Log. The study is also the basis of FIA’s annual Safety Awards.
The Occupational Injury and Illness Survey collects and compares information on the number of incidents and injuries; days away from work; and restricted duty days and allows members to see how the severity of incidents at their facility compares with others.
“It’s a great diagnostic tool to see how you compare against your peers,” says FIA Director of Member Relations, Karen Lewis, about the new data collection and reporting tool. “Now our members can see how their safety records compare to like facilities on the factors that are most important to them.”
Having seen some success with converting these two surveys to an online format, FIA moved forward to add a third study to the Dynamic Benchmarking platform. Conducted annually, Sales and Operational Performance Survey, is targeted to member marketing and sales managers to collect and compare forging sales operations to other similar FIA members in North America.
This third study was promoted heavily at FIA’s annual conference in April 2015 in anticipation of its June 2015 launch. FIA continues to educate and promote the platforms and is pleased with the continued increase in participation it sees among its members. Both FIA staff and members are enjoying the increased quality of the data they are receiving as well the immediate access to information.
“As part of our process, we worked with FIA to massage their questions to better access the information they wanted,” comments Dynamic Benchmarking Project Manager, Holly Maki. “For instance, instead of multiple choice answers, exact values could now be entered and aggregate results automatically computed.”
Another well received change was the immediate access to data. Rather than waiting to release study results in a static report, FIA made results of individual questions available to any member who had completed at least 50 percent of the survey.
Overall, FIA is pleased with their decision. The move to Dynamic Benchmarking’s online platform is a good investment in building a turnkey solution that will save budget and improve productivity for their staff going forward and is already freeing up staff to work on other things to further the association’s mission. That combined with the positive feedback they’re receiving from their members has made FIA quite pleased with the move to online benchmarking.