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I recently spoke with Mark Friedman, a member success advocate at IPC, about the current status of IPC’s membership programs, the recent growth they’ve seen, and some hidden benefits of IPC membership that potential members might not be considering.
Barry Matties: Mark, you’re a member success advocate at IPC, and your function surrounds membership. Tell me a little bit about what that title means.
Mark Friedman: I support IPC’s membership, so if they have any issues or inquiries, I make sure that they get the responses they deserve. We have several programs that members might not be aware of, and I guide them to the appropriate individual who can help them out with their inquiries.
Matties: How long has this position been at the IPC?
Friedman: It’s been there for about three and a half years.
Matties: So, it’s a newer position.
Friedman: That’s correct. Management realized that a lot of our members weren’t getting the attention and support that they needed from a personal standpoint, so they created this position to enhance the member experience.
Matties: Is this a global function?
Friedman: Yes, we support members globally.
Matties: Great. Can you tell us about your background?
Friedman: I’m an electrical engineer with more than 30 years of sales experience in the semiconductor industry.
Matties: How did you find your way to the IPC?
Friedman: I had a colleague who worked with me in the semiconductor industry and he mentioned that there was a position open, so I applied and was offered the position.
Matties: Nice. Congratulations.
Friedman: Thank you.
Matties: In your role, what kinds of issues do members have that you can help them with?
Friedman: The interesting thing is a lot of members aren’t aware of all the services and programs that IPC offers. We expose them to different areas. For instance, they’ll have questions about certification, so we support them from our certification quality initiative (CQI) program. They’ll have questions on standards, so we support them with technical liaisons and experts who sit on committees and explain and interpret the standards from a practical standpoint.
Matties: How do you measure your success, and is there a metric of retention?
Friedman: Yes, renewal, retention, and new member acquisition are all metrics we track.
Matties: Let’s talk about renewals. Since this position has been established, have you experienced an increase in renewals?
Friedman: By supporting our members, we build relationships with them, gain their trust, and they realize that there’s someone internally to help them. They appreciate that and extend their membership.
Matties: Now, you mentioned oftentimes it’s just an education process to help them understand all of the value that the association brings. Why do you think they don’t know this up front?
Friedman: Members are singularly focused when they join IPC. The main thrust has been either standards or certification. We have other programs as well, such as market research, validation services, global advocacy efforts, and transportation solutions. We also have various membership initiatives that they’re not aware of.
Matties: You were talking about existing members, but certainly in your role, you’re also looking at increasing membership.
Friedman: We have about 4,800 member locations globally and growing that span the globe from China to Brazil and all points in between.
Matties: When you say locations, are you talking about factories or people?
Friedman: Facilities. We have two options when it comes to membership: conventional membership, which is based on location, and revenue-driven membership (Enterprise membership), which you can picture as a corporate membership based on global revenue. While conventional membership is site specific, revenue membership will incorporate all global locations of the member company.
The advantages are that, from an administrative standpoint, you’re dealing with a single invoice. Also, the duration of the membership is uniform throughout all locations. You don’t have to worry about one site expiring in February and another expiring in August. Additionally, now that all global locations are members, you have a uniform approach to standards and procedures that are governed by IPC standards.
To read the full article, which appeared in the December 2018 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.