Investing in a membership of a trade association like SBCA is all about the return on investment (ROI). For some component manufacturers (CMs) and suppliers, the ROI for membership in SBCA is tied to the relationship building and best practice sharing that occurs at Open Quarterly Meetings (OQMs) and BCMC. While OQMs are free to attend, there has always been a cost difference for BCMC registration between members and non-members. For 2021, the difference in the registration fee for one CM attendee is $425. Given this difference, it isn’t surprising that each year BCMC registration prompts several CMs to join the association to avoid the higher cost.
For other CMs, the ROI is found in the training programs, online resources, and physical publications SBCA has developed. For that second group, there is also a cost difference between members and non-members. For instance, one lot (50 count) of SBCA’s jobsite packages is $260 for members and $725 for non-members — a difference of $465.
This is significant when you consider the cost of a SBCA membership. Annual dues are based on a company’s self-reported sales volume for the previous year. For operations with 2020 sales between $1-5 million, dues are $984; for $5-10 million it’s $1,800; and, for $10-15 million it’s $2,976.
This means the cost difference for just two lots of jobsite packages (100 packages) between members and non-members is $930. That’s roughly the amount of dues for a CM with 2020 sales between $1-5 million! This cost difference prompted SBCA to suggest the creation of a formal non-member rebate program.
Publications Rebate Program
Every time a non-member orders an SBCA publication through the online store (pubs.sbcacomponents.com), the cost difference they paid over member prices will be offered to the non-member as a rebate towards their membership dues. That means that like BCMC, jobsite packages can provide a significant cost incentive toward membership as rebates on moderate orders can almost completely defray the cost of an annual membership (see table below).
Jobsite packages are just one way non-members can generate a significant rebate. Bearing Location tags are an example of another popular product purchased through the SBCA Store. For members, a lot of 1,000 tags costs $42 but for non-members the cost rises to $117 — a difference of $75 per lot. When a CM uses these tags as a best practice, they can go through several thousand tags on an annual basis and the $75 member savings adds up quickly.
It’s important to note the rebate program is calculated based on a non-member’s single order. Once they become members, they continue to enjoy the cost savings on all future publication orders. This means that a single order will often not generate a rebate that will cover the cost of their membership dues, but when their purchasing behavior over the course of a year is considered, the cost difference may very well be more than their dues. This is where SBCA staff plays an important role.
Every time a non-member publication order comes in, SBCA’s membership coordinator, Talia Zanotelli, reaches out to offer the rebate. As part of this correspondence, she also helps the non-member understand how becoming a member can quickly pay for itself given their purchasing behavior.
Beyond the Initial ROI
SBCA offers CMs a lot of value in addition to its publications. The hope with this rebate program is it will bring more operations into the organization, and then they will discover the many other resources and opportunities SBCA provides with regards to technical guidance, industry best practice training, and education offerings that can help a company overcome current challenges and grow into the future.