AOLP Questions

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    As I understand it, some of you are AOLP members. (Formerly the LVLIA it would appear... when did that change?)

    I have a couple of questions:

    1: What benefits do you receive from membership?

    2: How has membership helped the bottom line of your business?

    3: Have you ever had a prospective client ask you if you were a member?

    I was just on the website and it is looking much better then it used to.

    I was a bit confused as to why you would need a password to access the membership list! I mean really, if a professional organization is really wanting to promote their credentials and members to the marketplace, you would think they would want the public having access to the membership list. I dont quite get that at all.

    I am also wondering if the AOLP really has that much regard, influence or interest in the issues that we face here in Canada. If there are any Canadian members of the AOLP here please let me know your thoughts.

    Finally, What influence do the manufactures who are members have over the association? I know they pay some pretty big bucks to be members and I want to know how that translates into programming, promotion, technological advancement, etc etc.

    In the past I have been encouraged to join the LVLIA on many occassions. When I posed these and other questions and concerns no one was ready able or willing to enter into a dialogue with me. They just took the attitude of "join us and you will find out". Hopefully this culture has changed and I look forward to hearing many varied opinions and answers.

    Have a great day.
     
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    I could tell you, but then we would have to send our secret agents to your location to dispose of you. :gunsfirin Actually, I have heard there have been some recent changes so I can't speak intelligently to your questions. They keep us pee-ons out of the loop until conference time/renewal time. Paul is now a on the board, so he is a "big man on campus" so I'll let him fill your balloon before I pop it with my black hat analogy. As I understand it, the manufacturers are contributing a great deal of rebates to your membership which results in a net profit for the cost of membership. The conference is usually a great time, and it is a wonderful opportunity to get together with some talented individuals from across the country to share ideas and opinions. It may even turn out to be a great place to have a UFC event to settle a few unsettled disputes! :realmad:
    Again, I'll let this thread develop a bit, and wait to have a few cocktails. Then, we can discuss this further. I'll be happy to share with you via PM if you wish, but there are pros and cons. I'm a little bitter, but I'm just getting old and grumpy. The basic principle of the organization is great as long as you don't expect to get more out of it than you put into it. It is an organization that is in the process of being built, and it is in need of architechets. If you just pay your dues and expect to gain something in return, you will not see any benefit. The bottom line, as far as my opinion goes" is this: I am a member, and I do find tremendous value in the relationships that I have created as a result. Do I have problems with the organization of the club? You bet. Will I attend next years conference? You bet.
     
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    I hope by answering these questions for you, you can see that the winds of change are blowing. I am dedicated to this industry and am happy to answer any questions that I can.
     
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    James- just thought I'd put my 2 cents in- I'll be joining the aolp soon, and here's why- at 175 bucks, It allows me to have some credentials for bids. Yeah, the public does not know about it, but they can check on the internet. If I get one bid over someone else because I am a "certified member of Aolp" it is worth it. The website will back you up.

    I found this to be true of a certified Christmas light Installer. In a contest of bids, I always mention it, that we are certified, and then they ask the other person if they are. I have to do continuing education and take a test every year to get that certification. If I get a bid because of it, that is the main value for me. The can go to the website and see if I am a certified member.

    the same is true of aolp, although it seems there are scads of other benefits, at the end of the day, did it help me grow my business?
     
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    One thing I would like to stress is this, members should be INVOLVED in the association if they want to get things from it. I hear from members all the time wanting to know what "they" get. My question is, what are you going to do to make the association stronger?
     
  6. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    Thanks for all the information Mr. Paul, I plan on being in AZ next year. Who puts together the speakers? How about Greg Yale or Tom Williams??
     
  7. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    Hey Eddie

    Check your PM.

    thanks
     
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    Paul- With all due respect- when people have to pay to be a part of something, I think it is reasonable to ask what do you get for the money. especially if this is an ongoing expense, then value must be there. I agree folks should be willing to contribute and volunteer, and that makes an organization stronger. I volunteer at church,others benefit and feel great about it. I would be willing to volunteer and contribute my time to aolp.

    The value for me at aolp is easy to see, it gives one credibility. Training, testing, are well worth it, although I'm guessing these cost extra.

    As distributors and manufacturers pay a substantial amount more, I'm sure they ask the same question- what do we get? that is obvious- a pathway to people who buy our products, and a chance to sell them more.

    The nice thing should be an interaction between installer and manufacturer to improve products to make them better in the real world. a better packaging, a better socket, lens, o-ring, etc. Also- sharing methods both have discovered to make install better and or easier.

    Ultimately, the customers should benefit from a more educated installer, a better product.
     
  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    I agree with you David. Of course manufactures want to sell their product to the membership, but when they are members at such a young stage of the association, there has to be something else. I think that they have to have an interest in the future of the industry. I believe that the current manufacture and distributor members are making an investment in the association and therefore in the industry.
     
  10. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    I will ask Tom if he is interested. Would you like him to cover design?
     

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